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Puerto Rican Governor Address Public as Outrage Builds; Mob Attack Following Mass Rally in Hong Kong; Iran's Flag Now Hoisted on Seized U.K. Tanker; U.S. president Attacks Congresswomen Again; UK Finance Minister to Resign if Johnson Becomes PM; Portugal Fighting Fires. Aired 12-1a ET

Aired July 22, 2019 - 00:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


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NATALIE ALLEN, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): The Puerto Rican governor said he won't run for reelection but refuses to resign, that is not enough for some protesters as they promise more marches.

CYRIL VANIER, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): Riot police fire tear gas and protesters throw bricks as Hong Kong's seven weeks of protests turns violent.

ALLEN: And the U.K. finance minister says he will quit if Boris Johnson wins the race for prime minister.

Coming to you live from CNN Center I'm Natalie Allen.

VANIER: I'm Cyril Vanier and CNN NEWSROOM starts right now.

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ALLEN: Our top story: protesters in Puerto Rico are furious, that's after Ricardo Rossello made an announcement Sunday addressing the growing anger against him.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

RICARDO ROSSELLO, PUERTO RICO GOVERNOR (through translator): A significant sector of the population has been manifesting for days. I'm aware of the dissatisfaction and the discomfort they feel. You're right to express yourself will always be safeguarded by our constitution.

I've listened to every Puerto Rican and I listen to you today. I've made mistakes and I've apologized. I admit that apologizing is not enough. Only my work will help restore the confidence of these sectors and lead to a true reconciliation.

I announced that I will not run for re-election as governor in the next year. I'm also resigning the presidency of the New Progressive Party. (END VIDEO CLIP)

ALLEN: Protesters have responded, they won't quit until he does. For more than one week, hundreds of thousands of people have marched to demand that he resign immediately.

VANIER: They say he is hopelessly corrupt as the island has high poverty rates, crushing debt and an incomplete recovery from Hurricane Maria. The protests started after hundreds of messages between him and others were leaked, they were profane, homophobic and misogynistic messages. Some, including the San Juan mayor, blamed police for making the case worse.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CARMEN YULIN CRUZ, SAN JUAN MAYOR: I'm concerned about violence tonight on the part of the police, we have seen videos of police shooting with rubber guns on the back, following them, sort of as if they were just aiming and shooting at people. What the governor has done today is he has added fuel to a fire.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ALLEN: Nick Paton Walsh is in San Juan and he describes what's going on and what protesters are planning.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

NICK PATON WALSH, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: An extraordinary move by the governor, the day before he was expected to face 1 million strong protests on Monday on the streets across San Juan.

He went on Facebook at 5:45 and said he was not going anywhere,

Well, he would not contest reelection but frankly he was bound to lose that, given the public opinion behind me here, so many angered in the crowd they wanted an immediate resignation. They will not get that tonight, judging by his defiant statement.

So they are going to block the main expressway in San Juan, malls around that are being closed, federal offices are being closed, the Justice Department are saying their employees are still coming to work.

But there's a growing fear that Governor Rossello might be out of touch which the Democratic candidates who say he should resign, even got a signal from his press secretary, who stepped down a while back, saying that she can no longer being associated with him.

There's a growing chorus for him to leave; he's not doing and there are concerns about where that could lead. And the mass protests on Monday, seeing violence on the streets on Wednesday night, many concerns high here and how does this end? -- Nick Paton Walsh, CNN, San Juan, Puerto Rico.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

VANIER: Carlos de Leon Martinez is a protester and he took his demands underwater. His sign says we don't want you here, either. Ricky, resign.

He joins me on the phone just outside San Juan.

Are you protesting tonight?

CARLOS DE LEON MARTINEZ, PROTESTER: Not tonight; we are preparing for the big rally tomorrow, it is just midnight here and that means that it will be at 7:00 tomorrow morning.

VANIER: I ask you because some protesters gave the governor a midnight deadline to resign.

MARTINEZ: Yes, that was given --

[00:05:00]

MARTINEZ: -- and we were expecting him to resign. He just resigned his position in the party and he is running for governor in 2020. But we want him out of government.

VANIER: So how do you react to the governor's announcement on Sunday, because it's not nothing, he is not going to run for reelection in 2020. That means he's basically on his last legs.

MARTINEZ: He conspired against the people, he also conspired against the police in Puerto Rico. So he did commit crimes and we think it should be time for that, all the senate has to put him off of office if he does not resign.

VANIER: The Puerto Rican house of representatives is looking now in the next 10 days into whether he committed any impeachable crimes, if they return an opinion that he didn't, how would you react to that?

MARTINEZ: Well, I think tomorrow's rally is a message not only for the governor but for the other political figures in Puerto Rico that they should listen to the people, they should listen that we are angry. This charge is only the (INAUDIBLE) so it's --

(CROSSTALK)

VANIER: What are you angriest about, Carlos?

MARTINEZ: It's the things that are being happening, it is a disaster after Hurricane Maria that was not recognized and the people's outcry. The austerity, things that have been going on, the emergency in San Juan, the public education looting funds and these people are seeing the much needed money for those things. So people are angry about it.

VANIER: I wonder throughout all of this, over the last week since the protests have broken out, have you heard any Puerto Rican that you know, directly or indirectly, speak in support of the governor? MARTINEZ: Not really. You can find it on Facebook but people on this street that I've been talking to, they are from his own party and they are angry. It's not just the opposition this time.

VANIER: So that is my question, does he still have a support base?

Because you mentioned people from his own party, they want him out as well?

MARTINEZ: Yes, yes, people are angry. So I've been talking to friends that are from that party and they said that he should go out or they are going to push him out.

VANIER: Carlos de Leon Martinez, thank you so much for joining us and sharing your views with us, you are preparing for a protest tomorrow, that is expected to be a big one and, of course, we will follow that on CNN, thank you so much.

ALLEN: And, of course, Puerto Rico does not see that many large protests like this, it is highly unusual and it shows the anger people are expressing.

All right, now we turn to Hong Kong where 45 people are hospitalized after a mob attacked commuters in the suburban train station.

VANIER: They say one man is in critical condition following the attack after protesters flooded the city streets to demand change. Police fired rounds of tear gas and rubber bullets at demonstrators, who had been hurling bricks at the police.

They're calling for the formal withdrawal of a controversial extradition bill, along with wider democratic reforms.

ALLEN: That has not happened, that is why they continue to take to the streets and we Anna Coren has more from Hong Kong.

Hello to you, this protest movement is growing bigger and bolder and now we learn that these protesters were severely beaten.

What are you learning about that?

ANNA COREN, CNN ANCHOR: Natalie, this is some of the worst violence we have seen here in Hong Kong. We have to remember this is the seventh consecutive weekend we are seeing protests here.

But the violence that we saw late last night, in the New Territories here in Hong Kong, is very close to the Chinese border. We have not seen this sort of violence. Those mobs of men wearing white T-shirts attacked protesters and local journalists who were on their way home on the train back from the protest.

These mobs boarded the train, they started hitting indiscriminately protesters and people in general with iron bars, batons, wooden sticks, anything. And we saw this --

[00:10:00] COREN: -- on the train as well as on the platform, you could hear the people screaming, extremely distressed and as you said, one man is critical, five women are in serious condition, 45 people have been injured.

Now this morning we heard from a democratic counselor who is part of the Democratic Party, he was at those protests when these brawls erupted. He believes it that they are part of a local criminal gang, working with the police. He believes they were paid to attack the protesters.

He said he appealed to the police, who were in the vicinity. But the police just drove past. He said they did not arrest anyone and when the assistant district commander of was questioned about these mobs, he said, quote, "I did not see anyone holding weapons."

So this extremely distressing scene at this train station and the violence that ensued, we have not seen anything quite like it. Earlier obviously the most violent clashes between protesters and police here in Hong Kong, those protesters still pushing for the formal withdrawal of the controversial extradition bill which has been suspended.

But as these protesters maintain, they want it formally withdrawn, they also want the chief executive Carrie Lam to step down.

But Natalie, this has become the new norm in Hong Kong, these protests, people taking to the street. But we have not seen this kind of violence between the people of Hong Kong that we saw last night.

ALLEN: Absolutely, it is highly disturbing if you think of all these people that have taken to the streets, it's been mostly peaceful, which is a rare instance. It is very upsetting and, of course, it is much larger than this one bill, as we know, they are worried about Hong Kong and, ultimately, their autonomy from Mainland China.

Anna Coren, we know you will stay with them, thank you so much.

VANIER: Newly released audio recordings reveal the tense moments before a British flag, the oil tanker was seized by Iran, here are parts of that dramatic exchange and how the U.K. plans to respond when we come back.

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VANIER: The British flag tanker that Iran seized Friday in the Strait of Hormuz is now docked in an Iranian port and it is flying an Iranian flag.

ALLEN: The U.K. Government Emergency Response Committee will meet in the coming hours to discuss this escalating crisis, Britain has already warned of a robust response if Iran continues to hold the ship. We have more from the UAE.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: This is the moment Iran seized a British oil tanker in one of the world's most important shipping lanes, pushing tensions in the Persian Gulf to dangerous new highs.

Iranian state media broadcast these dramatic images of what seems to have been a carefully planned military operation. Fast naval patrol boats surrounding the British flagged Stena Impero before it's boarded by masked troops from a helicopter hovering above its deck. Iran says the tanker violated navigation rules.

JEREMY HUNT, BRITISH SECRETARY OF STATE FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS: The Stena Impero was seized in Omani waters in clear contravention of international law. It was then forced to sail into Iran. This is totally and utterly unacceptable.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If you obey, you will be safe.

CHANCE: And now audio recordings of radio transmissions have emerged of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard ordering the British tanker to change course.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If you obey, you will be safe. Alter your course to 360 degrees immediately -- over.

CHANCE: A British warship too far away to intervene advises the tanker not to comply, then addresses the Iranian navy directly.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You must not impair, impede, or hamper the passage of M/V Stena Impero. Please confirm that you are not intending to violate international law by unlawfully attempting to board the M/V Stena.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No challenge is intended. No challenge is intended. I want to inspect the ship for security reason. Over.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CHANCE: But there are British suspicions the real reason was this, a tanker carrying Iranian oil seized by British forces off the Coast of Gibraltar earlier this month. Officials say they suspected it was heading to Syria in violation of E.U. sanctions.

For weeks a furious Iran has vowed a response. Now the Islamic Republic seems to have retaliated -- Matthew Chance, CNN, on the Gulf of Oman.

(END VIDEOTAPE) ALLEN: Let's talk more about this with the executive editor of "The New Yorker" website, David Rohde, he's also a CNN global affairs analyst.

Thanks for being with us, David.

DAVID ROHDE, CNN GLOBAL AFFAIRS ANALYST: Thanks for having me.

ALLEN: Let's get right to it, if Iran continues to hold the British tanker Britain warns it will be serious consequences and Theresa May will chair a meeting today, what action could they take and what are Britain's options here?

ROHDE: Potentially I guess the British will try to seize an Iranian ship to get back at them, the most severe thing that Britain could do would be to carry out some sort of airstrike, I think that would be unlikely. But the problem is that Iran --

[00:20:00]

ROHDE: -- is essentially calling the U.K.'s and the U.S.' bluff by doing this and they are basically seeing if the U.K. and the U.S. will use military force to pressure Iran or not.

ALLEN: Britain is also being criticized, the government, by an ex- Tory Party leader saying that it was a major failure for the U.K., that British should have known the vessels in the Gulf needed extra protection, do you agree with that?

ROHDE: I do to a certain extent, I think the Iranians are being very aggressive, to step back and frame this, I think the Iranians are very frustrated, they agree to a nuclear deal with the U.S. and the U.K. and other world powers, the Trump administration pulled out of it and unleashed punishing economic sanctions.

So I think the Iranians are seizing these tankers to try to get sanctions relief from the U.S. So I guess the British government could've anticipated this but does the British Navy have enough warships to guard every single British flag tanker?

I don't believe so and that is the advantage the Iranians have in this situation.

ALLEN: Right, so Javad Zarif said Iraq must cease being an accessory to economic terrorism of the U.S.

Do you expect Britain to now align with the U.S. over this or to act independently of the United States?

ROHDE: It is a big challenge for the new prime minister, do they back the Trump administration with a joining of a military strike or will Britain side with Europe and China and Russia who so get with the Iran nuclear deal that Trump pulled out of?

From the perspective of Iran and Europe, there was an agreement, the Iranians were abiding by it and the aggressor, the one that starts this is Donald Trump. So it will be a key sign for the British public about what kind of foreign policy Britain is going to have under its new prime minister, how the new prime minister deals with this.

Will they get closer to the U.K. or back off and be more diplomatic inside of the Europeans?

ALLEN: Right, so Iran is sending a major signal about the sanctions and the fact that the U.S. backed out of the nuclear deal but does Iran really want this already dangerous standoff to get even more so?

ROHDE: I think Iran wants world oil prices to go up, their military presence, their navy being in the Strait of Hormuz, a waterway that carries a third of the world's oil supply, this is their leverage point. This is how they can put economic pressure on the rest of the world.

The U.S. does not need this oil, with recent changes in shale and natural gas doesn't mean much for oil but Europe does, China does. And I think they are not firing shots they are seizing oil tankers, they are mining ships and this is all an effort to drive up the price of oil and put pressure on the Trump administration and the U.K. to ease up on the sanctions and possibly, you know, revert back to the original deal or start negotiations to somehow get out of this impasse.

ALLEN: Right, they are generally digging in, it seems, where does the U.S. come in here?

Do you expect the Trump administration to try to ameliorate this situation or digging its heels?

ROHDE: I think this is an tremendous opportunity for President Trump to start diplomatic discussions with Iran, it will help with the strong and loyal ally Britain, the Iranians are interested in talks. And if the president somehow cements a new deal with Iran, it will help with his election chances.

So this is the moment, this is the time to start unconditional talks with Iran, to bring down the pressures on oil prices and on the U.K., so I hope that happens soon and I think this is an opportunity for President Trump.

ALLEN: All right, thank you for being with, us we always appreciate your insights, thanks, David.

ROHDE: Thanks so much.

VANIER: President Donald Trump woke up tweeting Sunday about the issue that he will not let go of.

ALLEN: Yet again he attacked the minority congresswoman who days ago he told go back to the countries they came from in a racist tweet. Here are his tweets today.

"I don't believe the four congresswomen are capable of loving our country," he adds, "they should apologize to America and Israel for the horrible, painful things they have said," he also called them "weak and insecure people."

For more on all of this, here is Sarah Westwood.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

SARAH WESTWOOD, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: President Trump is doubling down on attacks, House Democratic freshman known as The Squad over the weekend --

[00:25:00]

WESTWOOD: -- here in New Jersey, the president taking to Twitter saying he does not believe the four congresswoman are capable of loving our country and calling on them to apologize for things he claims they said about America and Israel.

The president continues to distort some of the things that members of The Squad had said in the past to make his argument without evidence that these women are anti American.

The president had some backup today from two top administration officials, Stephen Miller, a top adviser, and Mike Pence, who hit the airwaves in defense of the president's attack, arguing that he was not being racist when he told them to go back to where they came from and also pointing out the fact that Trump has tried to distance himself from the racist chant of "send her back" that broke out last week in the campaign rally in North Carolina, take a listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MAJOR GARRETT, CBS NEWS CHIEF WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT: You have a chance to say right now. Don't do it again. Is that your message?

MIKE PENCE, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Major, the president was very clear.

GARRETT: Was he?

PENCE: That he wasn't happy about it and if it happened again he might -- he'd make an effort to speak out about it.

STEPHEN MILLER, WHITE HOUSE SENIOR POLICY ADVISER: All the people in that audience and millions of patriotic Americans across this country are tired of being beat up, condescended to, looked down upon, talked down to by members of Congress on the Left.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WESTWOOD: Now the president had sent these messages, on the one hand he said that he was unhappy with the words expressed by his supporters at that rally but then on Friday and into the weekend he was defending the crowd, calling the people that express that sentiment incredible patriots.

Sources say President Trump has faced pressure from aides and allies to disavow it after Republicans were finding it difficult to defend and after a major backlash among Democrats.

President Trump is not giving up his attacks, sources say he views is that as a political strategy to try to elevate the four congresswoman, make them the face of the Democratic Party and try to project their far left ideas and some of their more controversial statements onto the party at large. That is something we can see more as the president wraps up his reelection efforts -- Sarah Westwood, CNN, Berkeley Heights, New Jersey.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

VANIER: Some top British conservatives say that they will not wait to be fired, they are quitting. What cabinet members plan to resign if Boris Johnson becomes the next prime minister. That is when we come back.

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NATALIE ALLEN, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: And welcome back to CNN NEWSROOM. I'm Natalie Allen.

[00:30:54] CYRIL VANIER, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: I'm Cyril Vanier. Let's look at your headlines.

Puerto Rico's governor says he won't run for reelection next year, but he will stay in office for the rest of his term. On Sunday, Ricardo Rossello addressed the public outrage against him. Protestors insist that they want him out now because of offensive online chats between him and his aides.

ALLEN: Hong Kong riot police fire rounds of tear gas to disperse thousands of protestors at the seventh consecutive weekend of rallies. They began early Sunday as a peaceful march but turned violent at night. The demonstrators want the complete withdrawal of that controversial extradition bill.

VANIER: In Japan, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's ruling coalition appears set to win most of the seats in the upper house election. But an exit poll indicates it fell short of the two-thirds majority needed to approve a constitutional revision. Mr. Abe wants to amend Japan's pacifist constitution.

ALLEN: Sunday's snap vote in Ukraine looks to be a big win for President Volodymyr Zelensky. Exit polls show his Servant of the People Party with more than 40 percent of the vote. That gives it a commanding lead over the pro-Russian opposition platform. Official results expected next month.

VANIER: In the U.K. now, we still don't know for sure if Boris Johnson will be the next British prime minister, but we do know who will not be in his cabinet if he does. The finance minister says that he is stepping down if Johnson gets a top job. Here's what Philip Hammond said to the BBC on Sunday.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) PHILIP HAMMOND, BRITISH FINANCE MINISTER: I'm sure I'm not going to

be sacked, because I'm going to resign before we get to that point. I intend to --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Really?

HAMMOND: Assuming that Boris Johnson becomes the next prime minister, I understand that his conditions for serving in his government would include accepting a no-deal exit on the 31st of October. That is not something I could ever sign up to. It's very important that a prime minister is able to have a chancellor who's closely aligned with him in terms of policy, and I therefore intend to resign, to Theresa May before she goes to the palace to tender her own resignation on Wednesday.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VANIER: So no no-deal Brexit for Hammond, and he isn't alone. Justice Secretary David Gauke says that he's also out of Johnson takes over. He told "The Sunday Times" that the former foreign secretary's pursuit of a no-deal Brexit will bring national humiliation.

ALLEN: No, we won't actually know until Tuesday if Johnson will be the next prime minister. That's when the Conservative Party announces the winner of its leadership contest. But Johnson is heavily favored over his rival, Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt.

The next Tory leader will replace Theresa May at 10 Downing Street. They'll also inherit a Brexit deadline at the end of October. Johnson has said he's willing to leave the E.U. without a deal, do or die, by that date.

VANIER: Dominic Thomas joins us live from Berlin. He's a CNN's European affairs commentator.

Dominic, if Boris Johnson does become prime minister, as seems likely, where does that leave Brexit?

DOMINIC THOMAS, CNN FOREIGN AFFAIRS COMMENTATOR: Well, this whole election that has been taking place within the Conservative Party has essentially been driven by one single issue: Brexit. And in that regard, Boris Johnson, and this is somebody who three years ago, led the leave campaign is unambiguously the person that the Conservative Party will now want at the helm to try and shepherd them through in this Brexit process.

The problem for Boris Johnson is that, even though he will now be in power, will be able to acquire a cabinet that will be in favor of his vision on Brexit, the reality has not changed within the houses of Parliament that are at the very best only interested in a a Brexit that would maintain proximity to the European Union.

So Boris Johnson is going to face very similar issues and problems between Brussels and between the houses of Parliament that Theresa May has changed. The only thing to his advantage now, really, is that he isn't charged, and he is now responsible for this particular process, with all that goes along with that.

[00:35:06] VANIER: By the way, Jeremy Hunt is currently still in this leadership race versus Boris Johnson. He was asked recently if he would consider working for BoJo in the event that Boris Johnson won. Here's what he said.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JEREMY HUNT, BRITISH FOREIGN SECRETARY: If I don't win, it would be a huge honor to serve Boris in a way that unites our party and our country.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VANIER: Did you see that as Jeremy Hunt raising the white flag, essentially?

THOMAS: Well, I think it certainly seems to be that way, and it seems that after this entire campaign, when they've been, you know, essentially at odds with one another, when they essentially have a different view of Brexit, and it's very difficult to understand what it is, no matter what happens in this particular process, the Conservative Party will have changed forever.

Either Boris Johnson is able to deliver Brexit, in which case the party will essentially have absorbed UKIP (ph) and the Brexit Party and become the voice, essentially, of that far-right fringe; or it will fail to do so, in which case the Conservative Party runs the risk of becoming something like the right in France and becoming relatively ineffective and unimportant.

And so the fact that Jeremy Hunt is talking here about party unity is, of course, an important gesture, but it's hard to see how they could actually achieve that in reality, given the fact and given Boris Johnson's positions on Brexit and his absolute determination to deliver this at all costs.

VANIER: We were mentioning earlier that several high-profile cabinet members will resign if Boris Johnson wins. How much does that weaken his hand?

THOMAS: Well, I think it does, and I think it goes completely in the opposite direction of what Jeremy Hunt seemed to be suggesting. Boris Johnson has made it quite clear that his goal is to deliver Brexit. For that, he is going to want a team that supports him in that particular vision.

What Theresa May tried to do -- and in many ways, this was her problem from the beginning -- is that she herself had campaigned to remain in the European Union and endeavored, within her particular cabinet to try to balance out the Brexiteers with the remainers or those that had at least campaigned for remain. And I don't think Boris will do that.

I think he will surround himself with people who, essentially, share his vision and who are willing to put a hard Brexit on the table as a negotiating tool with the European Union. And so this will be a rather exclusive cabinet, one that has no representation, really, within either the Conservative Party or in the broader U.K.

And the big question, of course, is how long he can stay in power with the support of Parliament without having to call a general election to get a mandate for his particular views and agenda.

VANIER: Yes, Dominic I'm glad you raise that point. There would be, regardless of what you think of Boris Johnson, there would be some -- some logic, some consistency to Boris Johnson now becoming prime minister and having to oversee Brexit, because he after all, was advocating Brexit in the first place, which Theresa May never did.

Dominic Thomas, thank you so much for joining us.

THOMAS: Thank you, Cyril.

ALLEN: Next, we take you to central Portugal. A massive effort is underway to control wildfires that have ravaged this region. Pedram will have the latest on that story for us, next.

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ALLEN: Firefighters are battling at least five wildfires in central Portugal on land and from the air. It's one of the biggest mobilizations ever seen in the area, a heavily-forested region about 200 kilometers north of Lisbon.

VANIER: Twenty people have been injured. Several villages have been evacuated as a precaution for now, and the cause of the fires is unknown. They're being fueled by dry air and high winds. One suspect has been arrested.

ALLEN: Let's get more about it from Pedram Javaheri in the weather center. Pedram, it looks like these conditions won't help firefighters.

PEDRAM JAVAHERI, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Yes, unfortunately, it is the peak time of the year here, climatologically speaking. This is the time you expect to see the hottest weather. That has been precisely the case, and really when it gets hotter here, the next couple of days before conditions improve, and it's not just across portions of Portugal or Spain but portions of Europe, as you see by the thermal signatures kind of depicted here across this region.

We've had heat in place in fires, as well, active in place. High pressure has been firmly in control. That's the concern here, because it is going to remain in place at least the next couple of days before it begins to break down and cooler air filters in.

But we're talking about 40 to 41 degrees of some areas climbing to 42 degrees in Spain. That is a good six degrees above the average, which this time of year, that's the hottest average you see here at 36 degrees. So it's even above the heat that you expect this time of year.

But they'll expect this to peak come Wednesday afternoon, finally begin breaking down Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. So firefighters get some relief as we get more of a Marine influence, moisture coming in across this region and allow those temperatures to cool off.

But any time you get a pattern like this, you have what is known as a heat dome that develops here. High pressure sits in place. With high pressure, you essentially put a lid on the atmosphere. So air here tries to rise and cool, it essentially runs into this lid that the high pressure has created.

So we have that same air come right back down, warmed by compression. I often use the analogy of a bicycle pump. You pump the bike, and you begin to see the tire warm up. That's precisely what's happening across this region on a broad scale.

And of course, that tremendous heat really not allowing firefighters to get much relief. And look at this observation here. Place such as Paris, guys, begin warming up, climb to 42 degrees come Thursday afternoon. That is equivalent to the high temperature of this afternoon in Abu Dhabi in Paris, which by the way the average there, 24 degrees, really speaks to the significance of this heat wave right now.

VANIER: All right, Pedram.

ALLEN: Thank you. See you later.

VANIER: Now Britain's Prince George turned six years old Monday. Look at this. To mark the occasion --

ALLEN: Oh! Do you love him?

VANIER: Don't give me that. No, he is very cute.

So to mark the occasion, Kensington Palace has released these three new photos. They were taken by his mother, the Duchess of Cambridge.

ALLEN: Yes, she's quite a photographer.

The prince is third in line to the line for the throne, behind his father and grandfather. That's likely a long way off, we're thinking, so for now he'll just go to school. This will be year two of school for him in September. Looks like he's lost a few teeth there.

Pretty darn cute.

Thanks for watching CNN NEWSROOM. I'm Natalie Allen.

VANIER: I'm Cyril Vanier. Up next, you've got WORLD SPORT. And then we're back with another hour of news from around the world. Stay with us.

ALLEN: See you.

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