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Police Use Tear Gas in Puerto Rico Protests; Trump's Ugly Plan to Get Reelected; U.S. Sending Hundreds of Troops to Saudi Arabia amid Iran Tensions; Zimbabwe Water Crisis. Aired 2-3a ET

Aired July 18, 2019 - 02:00   ET




JOHN VAUSE, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): Protests turn violent as hundreds take to the streets in Puerto Rico to pressure the governor to stand down.

The U.S. president doubles down on his attacks on members of Congress who he says hate America and should leave. This could be a hint at what's to come in the 2020 reelection.

And later, water rationing in Zimbabwe; 2 million people don't have access to clean water and some are trying to cope through this crisis.

Hello, welcome to our viewers all on the world to go to have you with us. I'm John Vause and you're watching CNN NEWSROOM.


VAUSE: Violence has erupted in Puerto Rico as police fired tear gas or protesters in San Juan just a short time ago. The demonstrators have been calling for the governor, Ricardo Rosselli, to resign. They're angry over a series of scandals and leaked text messages between the governor and his inner circle.

There were homophobic, misogynistic and laced with profanity, seemed to be the last straw. The governor is refusing to leave but the mayor of San Juan says it's time for him to resign. She says people are fed up with corruption as well as a failing economy.

CNN's Juan Carlos Lopez is live from San Juan.

And last time we spoke, these demonstrations of the tear gas were just firing up, what's the latest now?

JUAN CARLOS LOPEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It's a lot calmer now, John. People are still here but police haven't been firing the tear gas and we don't see the movement. They're just hanging out and talking and spending time, they're just trying to be funny but that's what they're doing right now, waiting for the police.

And they're saying they want Ricardo Rossello to leave. We have a group of people -- we're going to have to cut this, John.

VAUSE: This often happens doing live shots with people who are excited or agitated with these demonstrations over the last couple of hours. We've had the back and forth between the police with the tear gas as well as the demonstrators. We will try to catch up with Juan Carlos Lopez in a moment and we'll see if it quiets down.

We are watching this story from Japan, where at least one person is dead and dozens other dozen of others have been injured after an animation studio was deliberately set alight.

Police now have a suspect in custody who they believe poured gasoline around the studio to fuel the blaze. The city's fire department says at least 38 people have been hurt and 10 remain in serious condition.

In the past few hours we possibly saw how the U.S. president wants to campaign for a second term , whipping a crowd of thousands into a frenzy and leading them in racial chants. It's become increasingly obvious over the past few days, that Donald Trump is prepared to do almost anything and no low is too low to do whatever it takes to win a second term.

And at a rally in North Carolina, Trump's message was clear: reelect a true patriot, the flag-loving defender of the white middle class, Donald Trump. And in return he promises four years of economic prosperity and those who look different or sound different will be on notice to mind their place.

For a Democrat, he'll be supporting a rabble of violent American hating Communists. And at that rally in North Carolina, Trump's message was this. He was essentially bringing out there by attacking those four Democratic congresswoman, doubling down, tripling down, if you like, on those attacks which he made earlier in the week.

And in fact, he also thanked the Democrats who removed or tabled a motion to impeach the president. That was put on hold, much to the delight of Donald Trump.


TRUMP: I just heard that the United States House of Representatives has overwhelmingly voted to kill the most ridiculous project I've ever been involved in: the resolution -- how stupid is that? -- on impeachment. I want to thank those Democrats because many of them voted for us. The vote was a totally lopsided 332 to 95 to 1.



VAUSE: Ron Brownstein is the analyst and the senior editor for "The Atlantic" and he joins me now from Los Angeles.

Ron, now the president is clearly energized and enjoying this controversy possibly more than any other of his presidency. A Reuters opinion poll has seen support for him among Republicans tick up compared to a week ago. He believes he's on a roll. Listen to the president before Wednesday's rally.


TRUMP: I do think I'm winning the political fight, I think I'm winning it by a lot.

The Democratic Party is really going in a direction that nobody thought possible. They're going so far Left they're going to fall off a cliff.


VAUSE: To his point, Democrats seem to be flat-footed here. An impeachment --


VAUSE: -- vote was tabled on Wednesday and the president, we just heard, falsely claiming that impeachment is off the table because the Democrats killed it.

RON BROWNSTEIN, CNN SR. POLITICAL ANALYST: Obviously that is not true. It is still continuing in the Judiciary Committee.

But, John, that is a sideshow next to the magnitude of what we're watching here today. A president of the United States openly leading a racist taunt, an unabashedly, full-throated racist chant in front of a crowd of Americans, who are gleefully joining in.

I just want to ask listeners to think about this scene applied to any other aspect of life in America or, for that matter, anywhere else. If 20 high school students surrounded an immigrant classmate on the football field and chanted, "Send her home," how many of them would be expelled?

If 20 employees at your company surrounded someone in the lunchroom and chanted, "Send her home," how many of them would be fire?

If 20 soldiers did that to a fellow platoon mate, much less a commanding officer leading the chant, how many of them would be discharged from the Army?

We know the answer to all of those question and yet now we are being -- in effect, the president is saying that this is an acceptable way to deal with each other in a country that is growing inexorably more diverse and more connected to the globe.

And it is an absolute moment of looking in the mirror for all Americans about what they will accept from the highest office in the land.

And by the way, imagine a CEO doing this.

Would a board of directors let them stay in their job?

VAUSE: Well, in 2016, Trump felt just like one person, Hillary, "Lock her up" Clinton. In 2020, it's these four Democratic congresswomen. Who knows who else will be a target.

Instead of jailing political opponents, now it's deportation. You talked about the crowd, let's listen to the crowd.


TRUMP: And obviously and importantly Omar has a history of launching vicious anti-Semitic screeds.


VAUSE: How is it that a significant part of the country can look at that rally, can listen to it and listen to the chant and not find it chilling, abhorrent, to a point terrifying while others see nothing wrong or even enthusiastically agree?

Look, as you know, I've said to you for year, I've believed for years that the fundamental fault in American politics is what I call the coalition of restoration and the coalition of transformation, that essentially our politics now divides along an axis between those groups and areas of American society that are comfortable with the way we are changing, demographically, culturally and even economically. And those who view it as a threat to the America they have known.

BROWNSTEIN: And that was who Donald Trump was talking to when he put the single most important words of the 2016 campaign in his slogan, make America great again because again is about looking back.

There are a lot of 30-year-old African American MBAs who think America is imperfect today but there's not an "again" they are trying to get back to or professional women in the workforce. There is not an "again" they are trying to get back to.

He is directly, ever more directly, as he goes on, appealing to the portions of the electorate, who believe that they are threatened by changing realities in the country on every front, cultural, demographic and economic, as I said.

And this is the line that he wants to draw in the country for 2020. I think it is an expression of weakness as much as strength, because if you're talking about unemployment at 4 percent and the stock market at an all-time high, most presidents would be wanting to ask, are you better off than you were four years ago?

But Trump knows that there are enough people who answer yes to that question, that answered no to him for other reasons, precisely in many ways these reasons, that he is not assured of winning that question. So he wants the question to be, who is a real American?

And he will take his chances on that front. And again, it is a moment of choosing for the country that he is precipitating.

VAUSE: Here's the type of language that the president used to whip up the crowd.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) TRUMP: And tonight I have a suggestion for the hate-filled extremists who are constantly trying to tear our country down. They never have anything good to say. That's why I say, "Hey, if they don't like it, let them leave, let them leave, let them leave." They're always telling us how to run it, how to do this, how to do -- you know what, if they don't love it, tell them to leave it.


VAUSE: Quickly, the president is equating criticism of him --


VAUSE: -- criticism of his administration as being the same as an attempt to tear down the country. I really hesitate about this next point but in March 1933, the German Reichstag passed the Malicious Practices Act, making it a crime to speak out against the new government or criticize its leaders. It made even the smallest expression of dissent a crime.

They called it the Enabling Act, which enabled the chancellor to punish anyone he considered an enemy of the state.

It sounds insane, it sounds hyperbolic. But this is what history teaches us, that these acts (INAUDIBLE) authoritarian leader, this is where it has the potential to end up, which is why so many people are stunned and shocked.

BROWNSTEIN: Look, I'm always, you know, I am first on the list to be leery of any kind of comparisons to Nazi Germany. But your intermediate point, that you don't know how far this can go once you start, I think, is a very valid one.

And that's why I find it astonishing that we have not heard more from the collective social leadership of the country. I would like to hear from the president of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the business roundtable and Apple and GM and Exxon and IBM, what -- and Microsoft.

What would happen at their company to a senior executive who, when being disagreed with by a colleague of color, told them to go back to where they were from?

I would like to know from school superintendents in every major city, what would happen to a group of students who chanted, "Go back where you came from," at a classmate?

And, again, military leaders, I mean, this is a moment where it is pretty clear that the congressional Republican almost completely having accepted Trump's transformation acceleration -- he didn't start -- the acceleration of their transformation into a party centered on the parts and voters in America most uneasy about what the country is becoming, are not going to really make any stand for a collective American identity.

They are allowing him to both on moral and political terms execute this enormous gamble of redefining them as a party of white racial grievance against a changing America above all.

And that is -- and so that is kind of baked in at this point. The question is, are there other voices in the society that are going to stand up and say, look, at a time when a majority of public school students are already non-white, when a majority of our under 18 population will be nonwhite by 2020, when a majority of our high school graduates will be nonwhite by 2023 or so, is it OK to use this kind of language, to use and to cleave the country in this way as we are growing inexorably more diverse?

VAUSE: We spoke a couple of years ago about what the future holds. And we're out of time, but I remember you clearly saying to me at the time that this will only get more amplified as we -- as the years go on --


VAUSE: -- and that's what we're seeing play out right now and in so many ways --

BROWNSTEIN: -- John, a very quick thought. History will have no problem understanding what it was that precipitated this moment in American history. We are going through a profound demographic change along with a profound economic change and there are big parts of the country who want no part of either.

VAUSE: Yes. Ron, as always, thank you so much.


VAUSE: The U.S. is sending 500 troops to Saudi Arabia with simmering tensions with Iran. The deployment was announced after Washington blamed Iran for attacking tankers in the Gulf of Oman and downing a U.S. drone over the Strait of Hormuz.

U.S. Defense officials say that the troops will be heading to an airbase outside the capital, where a Patriot missile battery is being prepared. The U.S. hopes to --


VAUSE: -- fly stealth fighters and other jets from the military base.

Theresa May's tumultuous premiership is almost over. Five days remain until she steps down as prime minister but her three years in office were consumed by Brexit and proved to be her undoing as well. She reflected on that failure and on the sad state of politics in general in her final official speech. CNN's Bianca Nobilo has more from London.


BIANCA NOBILO, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Theresa May has encouraged compromise and warned against adversarial international relations in what is likely to be her last long form speech as prime minister. May said that in substance and in tone she was worried about the state

of politics. She repeatedly warned against descending into rancorous debate and political extremes. She also expressed her deep disappointment when it came to Brexit.


THERESA MAY, BRITISH PRIME MINISTER: I'm deeply disappointed I haven't been able to deliver Brexit. And I did everything I could to do that. I put my own job on the line, in order to do that and I was told if I stood down, then the votes would come behind the deal. I said I'd stand down and I'm doing so. The votes didn't come. That's politics.


NOBILO: Theresa May said that there could be no complacency to maintaining the existing liberal order. She referenced Vladimir Putin, saying the liberal idea is obsolete, calling that a cynical falsehood. But May did not respond to the questions about President Trump directly, although she did caution against seeing politics as a zero sum game, where one country can gain if others lose and where power unconstrained by rules, she said, is the currency of value.

She maintained that the special relationship between the U.S. and U.K. would be enduring.


MAY: The first thing I would say is that the special relationship we have with the United States remains and that is there regardless of who sits in Number 10 or who sits in the White House.

At its core is that the strongest and deepest security and defense relationship that we have around the world and that has been a bedrock of NATO; it's been a bedrock of maintaining peace in Europe and it will continue to be that for the future.


NOBILO: May has less than a week left in office. As a new prime minister will be announced on Tuesday the 23rd of July -- Bianca Nobilo, CNN, London.


VAUSE: He was once the world's most notorious drug lord. Now Mexican Joaquin El Chapo Guzman will likely spend the rest of his life behind bars, possibly the most secure bars in the world. He was sentenced to life plus 30 years after being convicted of engaging in a criminal enterprise, drug trafficking and firearm charges.

The 62-year-old, who escaped prison twice, claimed he did not get a fair trial. Guzman has been moved to the Supermax in Colorado, the most secure prison in the United States and possibly in the world.


ANGEL MELENDEZ, SPECIAL AGENT, HOMELAND SECURITY: The sentence today finally separates the myth of El Chapo from the man, Joaquin Guzman. For the man, it, is the end of the line and it is the reality and he will not be able to escape.



JEFFREY LICHTMAN, GUZMAN'S ATTORNEY: All we had asked for at the beginning was a fair trial. I'm not here to tell you that he's a saint or to tell you the witnesses were unusual than other American trial. All we asked for was fairness and no matter what you think of joaquin Guzman, he still deserves a fair trial.


VAUSE: As Guzman left the court, he blew two kisses to his wife and she responded in kind. The attorney says it might be the last time they see each other.

In Zimbabwe, millions are without clean water and it is causing health as well as economic problems. That story is next.

Also having dozens of Ebola cases in the DRC since last August, when we come, back how health officials are trying to stop if from spreading any further.





VAUSE: Recent drought has left 2 million people in Zimbabwe without no access to clean water. The two major cities have a water rationing program which limits tap water to once a week, making matters worse than the capital, there is a situation of chemicals which purify heavily polluted water supply.

More on this with David McKenzie, joining us now live from Johannesburg, South Africa.

There are couple things going on here. There is warnings that the drought was coming and no real preparations made and now the forecasters are saying there's no rain coming maybe before October.

DAVID MCKENZIE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: That's right. The rains come later in the year but this is a chronic problem, John, in Zimbabwe. It's a toxic mix of climate change, drought and financial mismanagement and the lack of funds.

Zimbabweans are used to dealing with these kinds of deprivations and everything from passports to visas to access to foreign currency to basic household goods. But water is another matter. For months it's had shortages. The situation now is really critical.


MCKENZIE (voice-over): In Harare, the taps are running dry. More than 1 million people in Zimbabwe's capital like Ben Mukosa, are struggling under severe water restrictions after the city began a rationing program.

Locals can now only access clean tap water once a week, forcing them to turn to water motors, open wells and bore holes to fill the void.

BEN MUKOSA, HARARE RESIDENT (from captions): There's no water coming from the taps. We have to depend on bore holes, bore hole water. And you got to have a wheelbarrow to push up from the bore up to your place. It's just bad. It's that bad.

MCKENZIE (voice-over): City officials say a severe drought and the cost of purifying process has drained the city's reservoirs and resources. The latest sign that Zimbabwe's economy is all but collapsing. Prices of basic supplies like sugar and cooking oil have skyrocketed in the past month, in some cases soaring by 200 percent.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think it's also making us a less consumptive population. I'm saying, do I need this? Probably not.

MCKENZIE (voice-over): The inflation rate has nearly doubled and reaching 175 percent in June. That's a troubling uptick for a country that saw hyperinflation go to 500 billion percent in 2008 at the height of its financial collapse.

Zimbabwe's president Emmerson Mnangagwa promised to turn around the battered economy after he replaced Robert Mugabe in 2017 in the parent coup but widespread shortages have lingered.

CHARLES MWAZHA, HARARE RESIDENT (through translator): Life is becoming tougher for us because we do not have money to buy diesel and the price increase means only those who are rich can afford to buy.

MCKENZIE (voice-over): Businesses are also floundering as power companies cut electricity to keep up with demand, sometimes for over 18 --


MCKENZIE (voice-over): -- hours a day causing production lines to slow to a crawl and leaving workers in the dark.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (from captions): I fell ill after working in the cold for two nights in a row. I am still not well but I had to come or else my family would not eat.

MCKENZIE (voice-over): A struggle for bare necessities felt millions of times over.


MCKENZIE: John, it's a cliche but this is becoming a new normal with Chennai and India dealing with massive water shortages. Cape Town in South Africa had that impending day zero last year where they hoped they would not run out of water entirely in Zimbabwe. The economy is a zombie economy so they're not mitigating these factors of droughts that are coming more frequently and are more severe.

Where they go from here is very difficult to say. But I have to say, like the gentlemen they're dealing with trying to get the basics which is basically a neighborhood which should have running water, it is a dire situation indeed.

VAUSE: This is a country where there was the promise a year or so ago that things would improve in the economy would get better and it's going backwards. When you can't get water to drink, it's a sign of a country that's struggling.

David McKenzie, thank you.

Let's try to understand what it's like to live there with a water shortage. We're joined by Kudzai Mubaiwa, a resident of Harare.

Thank you for taking time to speak with us. With the water being rationed like this, what is it like in terms of your daily life. What do you do now or what do you go without that is commonplace before the drought?

KUDZAI MUBAIWA, HARARE RESIDENT: I must start by saying that's what I've done in 10 years and that's a lot. And this was when I was growing up I could drink water from the taps. And things have gotten worse. I'm old enough to know that we have the situation where the services we have are overwhelmed.

My thought pattern is that somewhere there should have some planning so my day -- it's quite awkward because I stay in the central business district -- in 2019, I'm staying right in the middle of the city where you would expect that we would have access to clean water.

My eldest is 10 years old and (INAUDIBLE) drunk right here in Harare.

So how do we survive?

We have to get water for drinking from boats and that's awkward. If you're staying in an apartment in the city and your day starts at 6:00 by going to pick up water. The only advantage I have it that I drive so I have move bottles of water for drinking because it's not clean portable water in the city right now.

So it's really awkward when you're on your ride home and you're using Facebook or email and you have every other aspect but you still have to wake up in the morning and go and fetch water for drinking.

VAUSE: This is truly bizarre for a lot of people around the world who are trying to wrap their head around it. And a lot of cities around the world, the water is not drinkable when it comes out of the tap. You have to boil it at the very least.

Even now that you don't have that water, what do you do about bathing?

What do you do about cleaning?

Everything that so many people for take for granted?

How do you cope with that when that water, as bad as it was in the past, isn't there?

MUBAIWA: I was going to say that there's two major things. The supply of water is pretty erratic. I'm in a place where, of late in the past few months we've gone for a week or so ago, with two straight days with absolutely no water in the tap. When it did come back, it was filthy. You could not even boil it for drinking.

And then bathing, you can make it work. But I'm just saying that it's really strange when you're living in a place where you opened up the tap in my house. If I open up the taps and fill up my tap, the water itself, you can tell that this cannot be good for you.

VAUSE: Just curious. It's difficult to speak freely often in Zimbabwe, despite the change. But is there anger growing towards the authorities, that there was a warning that a drought --


VAUSE: -- was coming and it seems very little preparation was made.

MUBAIWA: Absolutely. I'm free to speak of it and it is widely known. I must say, there's a clear sentiment, just take the temperature of the mood on social media. But that is just not enough.

People are in the streets and these are the things we talk about when we are in queues the banks or in the store about how basic things cannot be accessed. It's a matter of regret when a nation's people cannot have access to very basic things, like running water. This is 2019. People are really disappointed, both with the local government, which runs the water things, as well as the central government itself, because, ultimately, they do hold the initial shoppers (ph).

So you would imagine that basic things like water would be available. Even the guys that have balls for themselves who have made a plan, it's not critical or easy but they do try and do what they can. But if there's no power, it's another issue that links with that.

Some people's phones are powered by a machine so if there's no power and there's no TV, either. So it's a real disaster situation. People are not happy. I'm not happy. I'm a very optimistic person and I'm creative, innovative, trying to make a plan but there's a point where you just lose it.


VAUSE: It seems like there's only so much an individual can do. The people in Zimbabwe have endured so much and they really do deserve better than this. Thank you so much. We really appreciate you joining us. Be well and good luck.

MUBAIWA: Thank you.

VAUSE: The World Health Organization is calling the Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo a public health emergency of international concern. There are more than 2,500 cases, 1,600 deaths since the outbreak started. A major concern now is that it was there in remote areas but recently reached Goma, one of the cities near the border.


DR. TEDROS ADHANOM GHEBREYESUS, WHO DIRECTOR-GENERAL: As a result of this concern for the potential further spread, the committee recommended that I declare the outbreak a public health emergency of international concern. I have accepted that advice.

Our risk assessment remains that the risk of Ebola spread in the Democratic Republic of Congo and the region remains very high, and the risk of spread outside the region remains low.


VAUSE: The public ministry of health says the government is looking at measures to prevent people from spreading the epidemic around the region.

A short break and, when we come back we look at the U.S. national debt that continues to explode and those once fiscally conservative Republicans could not care less.

So what has changed in Washington?

That is next on CNN NEWSROOM.


VAUSE: Welcome back, everybody, I'm John Vause. Thank you for staying with us. An update now on our top news, in Puerto Rico, anger and violence on the streets of San Juan as protesters demand the resignation of Governor Ricardo Rossello.

The last source, it seems, was when profane text messages from within his inner circle were leaked. The governor, though, refusing to step down, but the mayor in San Juan, siding with the protesters and saying it is now time for the governor to go.

Donald Trump, stepping up his attacks on four U.S. congresswomen who he says should leave the country if they don't like it. Supporters in North Carolina chanted, send her back, when the president mentioned the Somali lawmaker, Ilhan Omar, she's been a U.S. citizen since she was a teenager.

Mexican drug lord, Joaquin El Chapo Guzman was moved to the supermax prison in Colorado, hours after he was sentenced to life, plus 30 years. He was convicted back in February on 10 counts in connection with an international drug cartel.

New figures released Wednesday by the Institute of International Finance show combined U.S. public and private sector debt was close to $70 trillion. Government debt has hit a record high. In just simple terms of dollars and cents, America's national debt hits a new record high every second, approaching $23 trillion right now, about $68,000 for every man, woman and child.

In the last month, 20 Democrats hoping to be president, stood on the stage, for four hours over two nights and the word, deficit, was never mentioned. At least government debt was mentioned a grand total of once.

And here is Freedom Plaza in Washington on Wednesday, deserve it, not a placard, not a protestor, not a silly hat to be seen, unlike a decade ago, when ultra-conservative Republicans formed a Taxed Enough Already Party or TEA Party, to protest a debt-fuelled increase in government spending. Back then, of course, the Democrat called Barack Obama was in the White House.

(INAUDIBLE) of Washington politics, there is rare bipartisan agreement when it comes to the ballooning national debt, a head-in-the-sand approach, but ignoring the problem only makes it worse and on its current course, the ratio of debt to the GDP will hit unprecedented levels within 30 years, 144 percent by 2024, according to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office.

And unlike a decade ago, when the U.S. economy was in crisis and in desperate need of fiscal stimulus, government debt is rising now amid an economic expansion, unemployment, an inflation, a low, the stock market is high, in time when previous governments would work to reduce deficits.

But, as Reuters reported, asked about rising deficits last month, White House economic adviser, Larry Kudlow, downplayed concerns, it doesn't bother me right now, he said.

CNN political commentator and opinion writer for the Washington Post, Catherine Rampell, is with us now from New York, Catherine, thanks for staying with us.


VAUSE: OK, so in Washington, right now, Democrats and Republicans have found a way to work together to raise the debt ceiling before the government runs out of money in September. Listen to the House minority leader, Republican Kevin McCarthy, here he is.


REP. KEVIN MCCARTHY (R-CA): I would say to the speaker, if we are as close as I believe we are, and we need a day or two longer, we should stay here and make sure we get it done. There is a real concern and I don't think this is a question on either side of the aisle, that when the debt ceiling can hit, that it could hit early September or maybe sooner. We should not leave for August without dealing with that. And I would say, if we can't get this done, we should do a 30-day. I don't think that's ideal, I'd rather get a cap agreement and a debt ceiling agreement, before we leave in July. And I think we are very close to making that happen.


VAUSE: You know, take whatever you can get in terms of corporation and, at least, they're not scratching each other's eyes out. But, you know, what does it say when these two parties, that the only thing they can work together on and get something done, is raising the debt ceilings so they can borrow more money?

RAMPELL: Well, they haven't actually raised the debt ceiling yet, so I would --

VAUSE: Good point.

RAMPELL: Hold your breath. We've had these debt ceiling showdowns in the past. And look, if the least they can do is prevent another worldwide financial crisis, which is probably what would happen if the U.S. defaulted on its debt. That's -- I guess that's a worthy goal, it's a pretty low bar, but yes, at the very least, that should be bringing the parties together.

We don't want to default on our debt, we don't want to raise borrowing costs which what would happen, and we don't want to have this cascading financial panic, which would likely result from a default.

VAUSE: I guess the point I'm trying to make here is probably better said by the former Congressman Mark Sanford, who is one of the few voices of concern right now, when it comes to the debt. Here he is.


MARK SANFORD, FORMER REPUBLICAN REPRESENTATIVE, SOUTH CAROLINA: I think that we are walking away toward the most predictable financial crisis in the history of man. And there is little to no, I guess, I'd say no discussion of debt deficit and government spending in Washington these days.

I've watched two Democratic presidential debates and there's been zero discussion on both of them as to this issue.


[02:35:15] VAUSE: Why can't they wait together to lower the debt and not borrow more money, because when this debt bomb explodes, it'll take down not just the U.S. economy, but quite possibly the world economy with it.

RAMPELL: Right. So, there are a couple of things to separate here, one, is the debt ceiling, which is about just making sure we can pay bills we have already committed to pay, which is what we had initially been talking about. And the other is, what about budgets going forward, what about spending commitments and taxation? What about the structure of taxation?

And I think it's a little bit rich here, to have Republicans lecturing us about the virtues of fiscal responsibility when they oversaw, when they had unified control of government, a $2 trillion-dollar tax cut, unfunded tax cut, which is what we are dealing with right now, as well as, of course, a spending increase.

It kind of seems like the Republicans only care about deficits and debt when the other party is in power. Democrats don't seem to care about them so much, regardless of who is in charge.

But, certainly, there's a lot more preaching from Republicans when they are no longer holding the reins and when they get to point to President Obama, for example, and say that he was overseeing too much of an increase in the debt.

VAUSE: Next time, we can talk about the U.S. basing as well, as a reserve currency on other issues like sanctions on Iran and, you know, that kind of stuff, and what the effect of that will be on a status, you know, as the reserve currency and what happens, you know, moving forward with that one, but next time, Catherine, good to see you. Thank you.

RAMPELL: Next time, next time.

VAUSE: OK. Still ahead on CNN NEWSROOM, the flying Frenchman who stole the show on Bastille Day, it appears to be the future is now. There was a lot of wow.


VAUSE: It was the wow moment during the huge Bastille Day parade in Paris, over the weekend, when a man appeared to be floating in the sky. It was all due to hoverboard technology which made many of us dream of maybe flying one day. CNN's Melissa Bell sat down with the inventor and find out where he wants to fly next.


MELISSA BELL, CNN PARIS CORRESPONDENT: Neither a bird nor a plane, but a Flyboard Air, above Paris on Bastille Day, it caught the world's imagination.

[02:40:06] But this was the view from the man, flying it. Right now, he can reach an altitude of nearly 500 feet with the potential to go much higher, and a speed of 140 kilometers per hour, a vision of the future developed by the French jet-ski champion who demonstrated it himself on Sunday, holding a replica weapon.

Franky Zapata began his quest with hydroflyers, using the power from personal watercraft jet-skis, to take to the air. Now, though, he's taking this technology to another level. FRANKY ZAPATA, FLYBOARD AIR INVENTOR: When you fly with your body and you see that your hand affect the direction you want to go and you feel the air through your finger before the wind affects your body. It's like becoming like birds.

BELL: The key, says Franky Zapanta, was being able to place turbine engines over conventional electric propellers to allow intuitive flight controls designed around the human body. It may sound complicated, but he says it all comes down to one single dream, the dream of being able to fly.

ZAPATA: The one I enjoy the most is when I am alone, flying around the desert and around the mountain. That's why I build the machine. When you fly in front of people and when you get some media and some attractions, that have helped to jump to the next step, but in my heart, the best is the freedom.

BELL: Early on, the French Defense Ministry saw a future and decided to invest $1.4 million, the test of the board, in the hope that it might give the French military a technological edge. Back in 1989, the makers of Back to the Future II had imagined the hoverboards used by civilians. But that, says Zapata, will still take some time.

ZAPATA: The problem is not the technology. The problem is the regulations, first, how we can create enough safety and convince the government that it's safe enough.

BELL: In 2016, Zapata broke the world record for a hoverboard flight, traveling more than 2,200 meters in the South of France. Next week, though, he'll attempt to go much, much further still, traveling from France to England, to mark the 110th anniversary of the first flight across.

If he makes it, the ride will blow away his previous record, as he gets the first real bird's eye view of the English Channel. Melissa Bell, CNN, Marseille.


VAUSE: SpaceX founder Elon Musk's latest vision for the future is a way to merge your brain with Artificial Intelligence. Musk's co- founded Neuralink, a start-up, which aims to implant a device in the brain that would communicate with an iPhone app and computers, as well. Musk says the device could be used to improve memory, repair motor function, which just help people with cognitive defects.


ELON MUSK, CO-FOUNDER OF NEURALINK: The operation on a person basis, it involves just a two-millimeter incision and you can basically glue it shut. You don't need a stitch. And then the interface to the chip is wireless, so you have no wires poking out of your head, very, very important. It's basically Bluetooth to your phone.

(END VIDEO CLIP) VAUSE: Musk compared the procedure to LASIK eye surgery, which requires just a local anesthetic, but it still really hurts, and I wouldn't do it again. He said the trials could begin by the end of next year. Critics are warning about the risks of business enterprises, gaining access to brain data. It depends on the brain, though, I guess.

Thank you for watching CNN NEWSROOM, I'm John Vause. Stay tuned. "WORLD SPORT" is next. You're watching CNN. I'm back at the top of the hour. You don't want to miss it.