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Lion King Makes an Estimated $531 Million Worldwide; Puerto Rico Governor Refuses to Resign Amid Massive Protests; Iran Cites it has Arrested 17 Spies for CIA. Aired 5-5:30a ET

Aired July 22, 2019 - 05:00   ET


[05:00:00] CHRISTINE ROMANS, CO-ANCHOR, EARLY START: Opening of the year behind these guys.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is the fight of our lives.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This is going to work, Steve.


ROMANS: "Avengers: End Game" is now the highest grossing film ever. It passed "Avatar". "End Game" has made more than 2.7 billion worldwide. Disney now owns five of the top 10 highest grossing films of the year.

DAVE BRIGGS, CO-ANCHOR, EARLY START: Saw "Lion King" loved it --

ROMANS: Did you?

BRIGGS: Highly recommend it.

ROMANS: Oh, good --

BRIGGS: Indeed. All right, thanks to our international viewers for joining us, have a great rest of your Monday. For our U.S. viewers, EARLY START continues right now.

ROMANS: The biggest protests yet expected today. The governor of Puerto Rico will not seek another term, but many are demanding he leaves sooner.


REP. JERRY NADLER (D-NY): The report presents very substantial evidence that the president is guilty of high crimes and misdemeanors.


BRIGGS: Democrats are raising the stakes ahead of Robert Mueller's testimony this week. Will it help or hurt the push for impeachment?

(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP) UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If you obey, you will be safe. If you obey, you

will be safe. Alter your course.


ROMANS: A British vessel seized after being warned by Iran to change course. The U.K. vowing a robust response.

BRIGGS: And power still out for thousands in New York and Detroit. No air conditioning on one of the hottest, most unbearable weekends in memory. Thankfully it is over. Did you stay in or did you get out in the heat?

ROMANS: I stayed in, pulled down the shades, stayed in.

BRIGGS: I got out in it, played some golf. Good morning, everyone, welcome to EARLY START, I'm Dave Briggs.

ROMANS: And I'm Christine Romans. It is Monday, July 22nd, it is 5:01 in the East. Let's begin in Puerto Rico. A major change is coming to Puerto Rico, but not just yet. In response to a week of huge protests, embattled Governor Ricardo Rossello announcing he will not run for re-election next year.


GOV. RICARDO ROSSELLO, PUERTO RICO (through translator): I have listened to every Puerto Rican, and I listened to you today. I've made mistakes and I have 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.


ROMANS: Another big protest effort today. Rossello is resigning as president of the New Progressive Party. But protestors are not in a mood to wait.

BRIGGS: Many Puerto Ricans have been calling for him to step down entirely after the leak of sexist and homophobic private chat messages with his inner circle. Protesters also say government corruption is undermining efforts to deal with high poverty rates, crushing debt and the aftermath of Hurricane Maria. CNN's Nick Paton Walsh in San Juan with the latest.

NICK PATON WALSH, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Dave, Christine, a bizarre statement really from Governor Rossello, unthought-of of really that he would step forward on Facebook at 5:45, the day before a massive protest against him on Monday where organizers hope they'll get a million people out on the streets and say he is not resigning.

Now, there was a minor concession in this Facebook broadcast in which he said he was not going to be contesting the elections next year. While in all honesty, he was very unlikely to win those in the first place. So, essentially, many are reading this behind me as the governor digging in his heels.

They want him gone immediately, the reaction from people behind me was to say, listen, this man has got to get out, they think this will boost numbers on the streets on Monday. One of the key goals is to lock down a major express way into San Juan, Las Americas, the moles around that are closed, federal government offices are closed.

The Justice Department is telling local employees still to come into work, but I think there's a real sense now that Governor Rossello is perhaps blind to calls from Democratic candidates he should leave, even the message, possibly a blink from his press secretary. She sat down, not wanting to be associated with the corruption and allegation against him -- in front of her son, she said in a lengthy letter. But he hasn't changed his mind. Will a protest on Monday do so? We'll have to see, Dave, Christine?

ROMANS: All right, yes, those protests expected today, thank you so much for that. Dramatic new audio capturing communications between Iranian and British ships in the Persian Gulf, moments before the Iranians seized the British tanker.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If you obey, you will be safe. If you obey, you will be safe. Alter your course.


ROMANS: A Royal Navy warship in the region to protect British vessels, telling the crew aboard this Stena Impero that the Iranian Revolutionary Guard crew had no business telling them what to do.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I reiterate that as you are conducting transit passage in a recognized international strait, under international law, your passage must not be impaired.


BRIGGS: Iran says it detained the British tanker for unspecified violations of Maritime law. The crew of 23 still being held, this though just the latest escalation in the Strait of Hormuz, a critical waterway for trade, oil and gas.

[05:05:00] And senior international correspondent Matthew Chance in the UAE along the strait, joins us with the latest. Matthew, good morning. There's the ship and there's this new reporting you mentioned last hour about Iranians claiming to have seized CIA agents. Tell us more.

MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, the weather is absolutely scalding here, 111 degrees here today in this coastal area. But the tensions are also getting hotter and hotter as well, and that's the latest development that you just mentioned over there. Overnight, the Iranian authorities saying that they have arrested 17

people, that they have accused of spying for the CIA, they say that some of them could be executed if they don't show adequate, you know, remorse for what they've done, others they say will be treated more leniently if they confess to their crimes and cooperate with the Iranian authorities.

As the United States tries to cast Iran as the malign player in this region. This is possibly messaging by the Iranian government to say, look, United States is being provocative in this region as well. And that tallies what the Iranian Foreign Minister has been saying on public platforms as well.

Saying that the United States is attempting to draw Britain into a broader conflict with Iran. That's a reference to this growing problem, this growing dispute between Britain and Iran over that British flagged-oil tanker which was seized on Friday by Iranian special forces, dramatic images of that taking place being broadcast on Iranian state television.

Also those radio broadcasts which show that the Iranians and the British Navy in a sort of confrontation over the airways, there's going to be robust action, British officials say, in response to this, although what that action entails at the moment is not clear, high level meetings underway at the moment in London to discuss the best way forward.

It could be sanctions. There are also details being discussed of attempts to protect international shipping. Britain has deployed another warship to the Persian Gulf region. But it says it wants to keep this a diplomatic matter, and is not at this point looking for a military solution. But with those mounting tensions, particularly between the U.S. and Iran, you can see how an incident like this could easily spark off something much broader, much wider and much more dangerous. Dave?

BRIGGS: Yes, indeed, you could. Seemingly every day, a new escalation, hard to see a path that leads to sanctions relief, but time will tell. Matthew Chance live for us near the strait. Thank you.

ROMANS: All right, back here for Democrats who want to launch impeachment proceedings against the president, this could be a make or break week. Special counsel Robert Mueller testifies before Congress Wednesday and Democrats have struggled to effectively use his report to make their case. Mueller made it clear and made the charge on President Trump was never an option he could consider, but he refused to exonerate him.


ROBERT MUELLER, FORMER SPECIAL COUNSEL: If we had had confidence that the president clearly did not commit a crime, we would have said so.


BRIGGS: Now, Mueller will appear before the House Intel and Judiciary Committees. Here's what the two chairmen are hoping to achieve.


NADLER: The report presents very substantial evidence that the president is guilty of high crimes and misdemeanors, and we have to present -- or let Mueller present those facts to the American people and then see where we go from there.

REP. ADAM SCHIFF (D-CA): Since most Americans, you know, in their busy lives haven't had the opportunity to read that report, and it's a pretty dry prosecutorial work product, we want Bob Mueller to bring it to life.

Who better to bring them to life than the man who did the investigation himself. We want the people to hear it directly from him, not filtered through Bill Barr who had his own misleading characterization of it.


BRIGGS: More than 80 house Democrats have called for an impeachment inquiry of the president, but the American people may not yet have the stomach for it. According to an "NBC News"-"Wall Street Journal" poll, half of registered voters say forget the hearings, let the president finish his term.

ROMANS: All right, a deal on the budget and the debt ceiling appears to be taking shape, but would still need the president's approval here. "The Washington Post" reports the pending deal would extend the debt ceiling and set new spending levels for two years.

The White House had demanded $150 billion in spending cuts. This agreement does not go that far, but we don't know exactly how much would be cut. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin spoke several times over the weekend as this August recess looms. Here's what Senator Chuck Schumer said about the negotiations.


SEN. CHUCK SCHUMER (D-NY): We're willing to go a good ways, but the bottom line is the administration has to compromise as well. It seems when Mr. Mulvaney gets involved, they ask for things that are outlandish. He was one of five Congressmen who wanted to shut down the budget -- the government a few years ago.

I'm hopeful that saner heads can prevail and we can come together. We are making progress, but we're not there yet.


[05:10:00] ROMANS: All right, the bottom line here, every day, there is less time and getting a deal locked in becomes more essential. The U.S. government could default on its debt in early September if the debt ceiling is not raised, Treasury(ph) of course would risk the position of U.S. data as a global safe haven investment and could rattle markets.

BRIGGS: A brutal heat wave straining power grids over the weekend, overnight up to 53,000 customers in New York City were without lights or air-conditioning at one point. That number now cut by about half. ConEd says it took about 33,000 customers in Brooklyn off the grid deliberately to protect vital equipment.

In Detroit, severe storms have damaged and 290,000 customers without power. The high temps blamed for two deaths, heatstroke felt by former NFL player Mitch Petrus in Arkansas and an unidentified woman hiking in Maryland. For a look at the week ahead, let's bring in meteorologist Pedram Javaheri.

PEDRAM JAVAHERI, METEOROLOGIST: Yes, good morning, guys. Finally, getting a break in that forecast over the next couple of days after the upper 90s and low 100s across the Northeast. LaGuardia, Atlantic City, even across places such as Bridgeport, Connecticut, temps climbing up to either 99 or 100 degrees across portions of town.

All of these either setting or tying records, and climatologically speaking, it is that latter portion of July into early August where we see the hottest temperatures of the year. And in fact, first time ever, we've seen Boston have two days that failed to see temps dip below 80 degrees into the overnight hours, that was Saturday and Sunday morning, low on Sunday morning in Boston, an incredible 83 degree afternoon.

What if I tell you we don't make it there by this afternoon? Highs only expected at 81, upper 90s, what we saw yesterday, and of course, you factor in the humidity yesterday, felt well warmer than that as well. New York City's 100 gives way to 84 today. But notice, we do have a few acted areas of thunderstorms forecast to move in later on this afternoon and this evening, so that will help keep your temperatures at bay.

And throughout the next couple of days, we will see a gradual warming trend. But really the highest we get about 87 degrees by late week, guys.

ROMANS: All right, we'll take it, anything is better than last weekend --

BRIGGS: I know --

ROMANS: Thank you sir. All right, the big transition coming in the U.K. and it looks like the Donald Trump of Britain is about to be Prime Minister. What it means for Brexit and relations with the United Kingdom.


ROMANS: Sixteen minutes past the hour, the most divisive politician in Britain is just days away from fulfilling his life-long dream of becoming Britain's Prime Minister. If the polls are any indication, Boris Johnson is the odds-on favorite and his bid for power could make the Brexit mess even messier. CNN's Nina dos Santos is live in London with the latest. Nina?

NINA DOS SANTOS, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Thanks so much, Christine. Well, things are already getting pretty messy because what we're seeing is an anticipation of a future Boris Johnson premiership. By this time tomorrow, many of his enemies already starting to resign from the cabinet Theresa May is chairing this morning.

Her last cabinet meeting of her tenure, and then by around about 5:00 p.m. U.K. time. So, in the late afternoon, we'll know who has triumphed in this leadership between Boris Johnson and the current Foreign Secretary -- a slightly more moderate current Jeremy Hunt.

So, the Foreign Minister has decided to resign, Alan Duncan earlier on today. He is somebody who very vocally said that Boris Johnson could have done more to support the outgoing British Ambassador to the United States, sir Kim Darroch in the aftermath of the leaking of his private diplomatic cables about Donald Trump.

And we've also seen Phillip Hammond, the chancellor, the Ex-Chequer, our Finance Minister here in the U.K. and the Justice Secretary hit the airwaves on the Sunday newspapers over the course of the weekend, saying that they could go as well, largely because they don't share Boris Johnson's view of where Brexit should be going.

He said that the country should come out of the EU by the latest deadline, October the 31st, quote, "do or die". They say that, that is economic suicide leaving the relationship that the U.K. has with this largest trading partner, the EU, without another game plan.

Either way though, with this kind of resistance from the back benches from senior cabinet members today, Christine, what we may see is the question of not so much will Boris Johnson be Prime Minister by this time tomorrow, but how long will a Boris Johnson tenure hold, Christine?

ROMANS: Wow, the plot thickens. Thank you so much for that. Nina dos Santos for us in London this morning.

BRIGGS: Just wow, a lot ahead there. Meanwhile, Irish eyes are smiling this morning after Shane Lowry wins his first career major on home turf and did it in dominating fashion. Andy Scholes with that story in the "BLEACHER REPORT".


BRIGGS: Ireland's Shane Lowry blowing away the competition at the Open Championship in front of a very friendly crowd. Andy Scholes has that story in the BLEACHER REPORT. Andy, unfortunately Tiger and Phil and Rory and everybody weren't there, so, not a lot of chatter about a dominating performance.

ANDY SCHOLES, CNN SPORTS REPORTER: Yes, Dave, but it was still a pretty awesome scene there at Royal Portrush. You remember in the Open championships started last week, you know, all eyes were on the favorite, Rory McIlroy, he grew in Northern Ireland right near Royal Portrush. But in the end, it was another Irish man Shane Lowry hoisting the

Claret Jug, and Lowry definitely had the gallery behind him. He grew up about 150 miles from the course. And then check out the fans chasing Lowry up 18, trying to get a glimpse of him win his first major, he had tons of family and friends make the trip to watch him close this one out.

And this wasn't even close in the end. Lowry winning by six strokes, he had his wife and daughter greeting him on the green with a big hug and kiss at the end. And Lowry said winning his first major so close to home, it was just a dream come true.


SHANE LOWRY, BRITISH OPEN CHAMPION, 2019: That was just incredible to walk down, to walk down 18, and the crowd going wild, singing ole-ole, it's like -- it's like something that, you know, I just can't -- I couldn't believe what was happening to me.


SCHOLES: All right, scary moment yesterday at the Indians-Royals game, Francisco Lindor just hit a screaming line drive into the stand, it struck a 3-year-old boy who was taken to the hospital. After the game, Lindor said more needs to be done to protect the fans.


FRANCISCO LINDOR, CLEVELAND INDIANS SHORTSTOP: It sucks. You don't want -- you don't want that to happen to anybody, especially a little kid. Yes, I encourage every MLB team to put the nets all the way down. I know the fans, it's all about the fans' experience of, you know, I think players ever completely get that.

You know, you want to have that interaction with the fans, giving autographs and stuff, but at the end of the day, we want to make sure everybody comes out of this game healthy.


[05:25:00] SCHOLES: Yes, Lindor also said, he heard the boy was doing OK. Now, the netting at Progressive Field does go to the end of each dug-out, the boy was sitting just beyond it. These are the teams that have already announced that they will be extending the netting past the dug-out towards the foul poles on or before next season.

All right, the national baseball hall of fame enshrined six new members to their exclusive club. The Yankees Mariana Rivera, the first ever unanimous selection, and Roy Halladay also a part of this class, he died in a plane crash in 2017. His wife Brandy took the stage in his place to give his induction speech.


ROY HALLADAY, ROY HALLADAY'S WIDOW: Roy would want everyone to know that people are not perfect. We are all imperfect and flawed in one way or another. We all struggle, but with hard work, humility and dedication, imperfect people can still have perfect moments.


SCHOLES: Yes, Dave, and I know watching that must have been bitter sweet for you because I know you grew up playing --

BRIGGS: Yes --

SCHOLES: Middle League Baseball with Roy Halladay.

BRIGGS: Yes, it was a really nice job by Brandy. And you know, there are -- their boys were there, Braden recently drafted by the Toronto Blue Jays, who of course Roy starred for. Tough day, but --


BRIGGS: Nice to see him go into the hall. Andy, thank you my friend.

SCHOLES: All right --

BRIGGS: Romans, what's coming up?

ROMANS: All right, 26 minutes past the hour, Dave, a million people expected to protest the scandal-plagued governor of Puerto Rico. Now, he says he won't seek another term, but he's also refusing to step down.