Return to Transcripts main page


Migrants Feared Dead in Shipwreck Off Libyan Coast; U.S. Senate Intel Report's Election Warning; Republicans Twice Block Election Security Bills; Impeachment Divide; Heart-Stopping Moment; All-Time Temperature Records Smashed Across Europe; American Rapper Goes on Trial in Sweden; U.S. Senate Report Details Russian Interference in 2016; North Korea: Missiles Launched as a Warning to South Korea; Johnson: U.K. Must "Turbo Charge" Preps for No-Deal Brexit; Boris Johnson's Personal Life Makes Waves; Owner Of Jerusalem Football Club Addresses Racism. Aired 2-3a ET

Aired July 26, 2019 - 02:00   ET


[02:00:00] PAULA NEWTON, CNN ANCHOR: U.S. Senate Committee finishes a two-year investigation into Russian interference with serious warning for future elections. Plus, how Europe is trying to recover from a record-breaking heat wave.

Hello and welcome to our viewers joining us from around the world. I'm Paula Newton and this is "CNN Newsroom."

The U.N. high commissioner for refugees calls it the worst Mediterranean tragedy of the year. More than 100 migrants hoping to reach Europe are feared drowned after their boat sank off the coast of Libya. Women and children are among them. Survivors have been returned to Libya. The UNHCR fears the death toll could get even higher.


CHARLIE YAXLEY, UNHCR SPOKESMAN: We understand that around 300 people left Libya from Al Khoms and came into trouble off the coast of Libya. They were initially rescued, some of them by local fishermen, who were then joined by the Libyan Coast Guard. Together, they were able to save around 150 people. From what we understand, another 150 people have tragically lost their lives at sea.


NEWTON: Joining me now for more on this is Jomana Karadsheh. She is in Istanbul. You know, it is just chilling to hear these details, so devastating. What do you know about how this happened and why?

JOMANA KARADSHEH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, you know, Paula, we are getting different figures that are coming from different organizations. As you can imagine, these organizations and the Libyans are getting these numbers and details from survivors who were really traumatized when they were rescued at sea.

According to the Libyan Coast Guard, who were involved in the rescue operation, they say that about 250 people -- and this is according to survivors -- were crammed into this wooden boat that capsized about five miles off the coast of the city of Khoms, this is to the east of the capital Tripoli.

And as you heard there from the United Nations, they had fishing boats, fishing vessels in the area, these fishermen who got involved in the rescue, they called it in. The Libyan Coast Guard also assisted with the rescue, and they say that about 134 people -- this is the figure that we getting from the coast guard a few hours ago -- 134 people were rescued. They managed to retrieve one body and then they say about 115 others were missing.

Of course, those are presumed dead, unfortunately, at a time like this as we are hearing from the United Nations but rescue operations to continue. They say the majority of those migrants on the boat, Paula, were (INAUDIBLE). They also say there were some Sudanese and Palestinians, many women and children.

We've seen since 2017 this dramatic drop in the number of people who are making this perilous journey across the Mediterranean. According to the United Nations, in 2019, for every six people who made it to European shores, one died in the Mediterranean. It remains a very dangerous journey and a graveyard for migrants, Paula.

NEWTON: Yeah, absolutely horrific, Jomana. Europe, you know, as we have been discussing, is still the destination of choice by migrants for obvious reasons. Many of them failed in their attempts. What is their fate when they get to Libya, especially as we have heard the U.N. obviously, recently been very critical of the conditions they face? Has anything changed there?

KARADSHEH: It has gotten worse, Paula. I mean, if you look at this journey that migrants make to get to Libya -- to get to Europe, from the moment they stepped into Libya, this is a lawless country that has, you know, been in conflict for quite some time now for a few years, and it's only getting worse, these migrants face exploitation and abuse by traffickers and smugglers who get them into Libya.

And then when they are there, they face these -- they face arbitrary detention by militias, abuse, and maltreatment. And then those who make that journey, like those who were rescued yesterday, they return back to Libya because this is now the policy. They return back to Libya.

From there, they are put back in detention facilities. These detention facilities, Paula, are overcrowded, unfit for habitation, according to U.N. reports. We are talking about thousands of people crammed into these facilities where they don't have proper food, they face torture, there's no real sanitation, and they don't have enough latrine. It's really horrific conditions inside these detention facilities.

And on top of that, if you look at what is going on in Tripoli because that is where the majority of these detention facilities are, we have seen -- it has turned into a warzone in the past few months.

[02:05:01] A lot of these detention facilities are close to front lines. A few weeks ago, the United Nations was saying that about 3,400 migrants were in detention facilities, really close to the front lines. They were so vulnerable.

They were really worried about them being caught in the crossfire until we saw what happened earlier this month. More than 50 migrants were killed and another hundred or so were wounded in an airstrike that hits a detention facility in Tripoli.

So, the United Nations is very, very concerned. Other organizations are calling for a real strategy to deal with the situation. They don't want Libya to be holding them in these facilities. They want some sort of a plan for when they are returned and not just thrown into these facilities.

And they want Europe to stop turning a blind eye and to really tackle this issue once and for all and to deal with the settlement of these really extremely vulnerable refugees and migrants.

NEWTON: Jomana, with this latest tragedy, it certainly makes the solution all that more urgent. Jomana, thanks so much for that update. I appreciate it.

Now, one day after former special counsel Robert Mueller said Russian efforts to disrupt American elections were ongoing as we sit here, the FBI director also sounded the alarm concerning the 2020 presidential election. Now, we are getting a much clearer picture of the extent of that Russian meddling in 2016.

The U.S. Senate Intelligence Committee has released an exhaustive catalogue of details to show the Russians targeted all 50 states. We will get more now from CNN's Sunlen Serfaty.


SUNLEN SERFATY, CNN CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: This is a bipartisan report, 67 pages from the Senate Intelligence Committee, the results of two years of their work and their investigation. They looked at Russia's attacks on the U.S. election infrastructure in 2016 campaign, and they concluded, according to this report, that Russia directed extensive activity against the U.S. election infrastructure and exploited federal authorities and state authorities.

And they certainly make recommendations about going forward in the upcoming election, this imminent warning that they have on their mind of what the U.S. could do including of course the use of paper ballots to provide a paper trail for voters and better communication between federal government and local authorities. Here is a top Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee, Mark Warner.

SEN. MARK WARNER (D-VA): One of the things that we discovered which we have talked about before was really how vulnerable our systems were in 2016. I think the Russians wanted to come in and rattling the doors or rattle the windows. They found the doors unlocked and the windows wide opened.

In many ways, we were just lucky that they didn't either change vote totals or move voters from one precinct to another. I think we found that you need those paper ballot backups, you need an audited system. SERFATY: This of course falls very similar warning coming from the former special counsel, Robert Mueller, up here on Capitol Hill yesterday during his high-profile testimony.

And today, the FBI director, Christopher Wray, he said that the FBI does expect cyber actors to continue to target the election in 2020, he says, to undermine voter confidence. In point blank, he said, we know our adversaries are relentless.


NEWTON: In the midst of these very disturbing revelations, congressional Democrats have put forward legislation aimed, of course, at trying to boost that election security, and twice have been blocked now by Republicans.


SEN. CHUCK SCHUMER (D-NY): We are asking our Republican colleagues to join with us in a doing everything that we can to stop it. This is serious stuff.

SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL (R-KY): What my friend, the Democratic leader, is asking unanimous consent to pass is partisan legislation from the Democratic House of Representatives relating to American elections. It is just a highly partisan bill from the same folks who spent two years hyping up a conspiracy theory about President Trump and Russia. Therefore, I object.


NEWTON: Joining me now is Steve Hall. He is a CNN national security analyst and a former chief of Russia operations at the CIA. I mean, the entire episode here, Americans have to be shaking their head. We have many reliable sources now telling us that this interference happened and it will continue to happen, and yet it doesn't seem like any new laws are going to be passed.

STEVE HALL, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: Yeah, I mean, it's really amazing. There have been, I believe, four laws or four bills that have been forwarded, and none of them have gone very far despite the fact that as recently as yesterday, Robert Mueller was saying as we sit here, the Russians and others are planning attacks on the 2020 elections.

I think we can only assume that because the Russians were so successful in 2016, not only will they do it again, try again, but they will actually share their experiences with some of their allies, for example, the Chinese and the Iranians.

[02:10:06] So the idea that we can't somehow get it together and pass a bill into law that makes it harder for them to do that is dumbfounding. I have no explanation for it.

NEWTON: Yeah, especially, you make such a good point that other countries are watching, countries like perhaps China and Iran are also looking at these operations. I want you to hear now from Christopher Wray, the head of the FBI. Take a listen.


CHRISTOPHER WRAY, DIRECTOR, FBI: In the last few years, we have seen many examples of cyber actors targeting political campaigns to glean intelligence and directing bots to propagate divisive messaging. We expect much of the same in 2020, especially with new cyber tools that are continuing to fall in the hands of adversaries who would do us harm.


NEWTON: You know, that's very clear, it's unequivocal. Steve, tell me, how dangerous is it that this whole situation now has become so highly politicized?

HALL: Yeah, it's really ludicrous because this is something -- we always used to say in the old days, you know, that the politics, the domestic politics should stop at the water's edge. This is a perfect example of that. This is not a republican problem. This is not a democratic problem. It's an American problem.

There are things that can be done, and you can ask anybody from the FBI director, a Trump appointee, to former intelligence officers that I served with that were not appointed by Trump. It's across the board in agreement that the Russians are going to try and others are going to try. What we need to do is we really need to shore up it up to try to make sure that nobody can do this.

And when you ask why that is not being done, you correctly allude to (ph) politics, and I hope it is not that because that is a really ugly place for United States of America to be in.

NEWTON: That's what some people are left to believe. I mean, there certainly editorials throughout United States saying that, look, Republicans want this to happen because they know if these things continue to go on they might have a better chance of staying in power. I mean, what do you think of that, Steve?

HALL: I mean, again, that is such a dystopian view of the United States and our political system. But sadly, could that be where we are? I mean, when you ask yourself, OK, what is it that Mitch McConnell and others are -- what are their counter arguments to trying to pass bills and pass laws to improve our cyber defenses vis-a-vis our elections?

You know, there's this sort of states' rights argument, which I would argue really doesn't make a whole lot of sense, the Constitution is actually pretty clear that the federal government can help and do things with elections. If you discount that, his other argument is, well, we have already done a lot.

You know, if we stop modernizing our army, our military in the 1950s, you know, when we said, OK, we have done enough, no, you always need to modernize. You always need to be ready for the next threat. And that leads us to a political answer. Are there politics behind this? Could the Republicans really want to keep our system weak so that some other adversarial nation can take advantage?

God, I hope not. But in these days, politically in the United States, I have to say we cannot discount that entirely.

NEWTON: Yeah. I think the issue here is that people have to understand the very integrity of the voting system, regardless of how you vote, is at stake here. Steve, before I let you go, I just want to lean on some of your expertise obviously from what Russia has done in the past and will do in the future.

You made such a good point that other countries are watching. Do you think it is possible that this could be a full court press for 2020 in the sense that it won't just be Russia interfering, it could also be China, it could also be Iran?

HALL: I would actually be surprised if we did not see other malign actors out there, other adversaries attempting the same thing that the Russians were so successful at in 2016 and learned probably a lot from. So, the Russians were very, very successful in what they did in terms of widening the divisiveness in this country and making it very difficult for us to have normal political discourse.

They did a great job. They are going to share that information. They are going to show the lessons learned. They are going to share all the things that worked and didn't work for them in 2016 with countries, with the rogue nations that they, you know, sort of hang out with, the Chinese, the Iranians, people like North Koreans.

They are definitely going to share some of that information so that those other actors who are also anti-U.S., like to see us a weaker nation, can take advantage of what Russia did in 2016. I think that is going to happen.

NEWTON: Yeah, that's so interesting because, you know, you're saying it pretty much with certainly. Steve, this is a story we will continue to follow. We will see if any of this legislation makes it through Congress. I appreciate it.

HALL: My pleasure.

NEWTON: OK, now, through all of this, former special counsel Robert Mueller, as we were saying, testified on Capitol Hill on Wednesday, but he failed to jumpstart congressional calls for impeachment. It has Republicans claiming victory, and some Democrats examining their next steps. CNN's Kaitlan Collins has our report.


[02:15:01] KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT (voice- over): With prospects of his impeachment stalled for now, President Trump is brushing off damning assertions by Robert Mueller and touting his testimony as a victory instead.

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Phony cloud. That is all it was.

COLLINS (voice-over): Visiting the new defense secretary at the Pentagon, sources say he is declaring vindication behind the scenes.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (voice-over): Excuse me, it's my time.

COLLINS (voice-over): One day after Robert Mueller's testimony fell short of what Democrats were hoping for and exceeded Republicans expectations, many in Washington are left wondering what is next, and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi says she won't discourage her caucus on impeachment.

REP. NANCY PELOSI (D-CA), SPEAKER OF THE UNITED STATES HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES: We never have done that. We never have done that.

COLLINS (voice-over): But Democrats are now being forced to confront that the only way to beat Trump may be at the ballot box in 2020.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The clock is ticking.

COLLINS (voice-over): The White House is working to weaponize the outcome of Mueller's testimony.

RUDY GIULIANI, ATTORNEY FOR PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: The real culprits have not been investigated yet.

COLLINS (voice-over): The questions remain about how triumphant the president should be. He has repeatedly claimed the special counsel's report exonerated him.

TRUMP: I have been totally exonerated!

COLLINS (voice-over): An assertion Mueller flatly rejected.

REP. JERRY NADLER (D-NY): That is not what your report said, is it?


COLLINS (voice-over): But it is this question from Wednesday's hearing --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You could charge the president of the United States with obstruction of justice after he left office?


COLLINS (voice-over): -- that sources say is irritating the president.

TRUMP: Let me just tell you, the fact that you even ask that question, you're fake news.

COLLINS: Now, some people may look at Bob Mueller's testimony and wonder how the White House walks away from that, also seeing it as a win since he criticized the president and contradicted him and pushed back on some of the president's most repeated claims.

But White House officials say that for now they believe because there were no blockbuster moments from that testimony, that it helped calm this drumbeat of impeachment that has existed in Washington for several months now. They hope now that Congress is on recess, the drumbeat of impeachment is going to fade even further.

Kaitlan Collins, CNN, the White House.


NEWTON: OK. Just ahead, record-breaking temperatures are hitting Europe again, and they are threatening a French landmark already ravaged by heat. And President Trump rips into Sweden after the country refuses to intervene in the ASAP Rocky assault case.


[02:19:59] NEWTON: Now to a truly heart-stopping image. It was taken just moments after an airstrike in Syria. Look at this with me. It's a bit hard to make out, but there is a child there. She is below in that green shirt, teetering on the edge of a bombed building in Idlib Province.

Now, you can see from that picture, she is barely hanging on as her desperate father watches in horror from above. The girls' older sister grabbed the little one's shirt to try and keep her from falling into the rubble. You can only imagine how desperate they were.

The girls were rushed to a clinic. The condition right now remains unclear. But unfortunately, their mother was killed in the airstrike conducted by Russian-backed Syrian forces. A Syrian human rights group says hundreds of civilians have been killed just in the last few months as the regime has intensified air attacks in the Idlib area.

Now, right across Europe, an intense heat wave is breaking temperature records and making things miserable for millions of people. Several countries recorded all-time highs on Thursday, including Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands, each of them reaching at least 40 degrees.

Meantime, the U.K. experienced its hottest day ever in the month of July, but it fell just short of an all-time high. Meantime, in Paris, temperatures soared past 42 degrees, making a record that was set way back in 1947. The heat in the French capital is also threatening Notre Dame just three months after it was gutted by fire. The high temperatures are actually putting the landmark at further risk. CNN's Jim Bittermann has more.


JIM BITTERMANN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Notre Dame, the chief architect in charge of reconstruction after the devastating fire was worried the heat wave could cause further damage. The heat, he reasoned, might dry out the stones in debris doused by firemen back in April. They might dry them out too quickly, which could weaken joints and bring parts of the vaulted ceiling crashing down. The French electric company worried about the state of two nuclear reactors. Cooling water was flowing out of the reactors at higher temperatures than permitted, endangering plants and animals downstream.

No one has forgotten other heat waves here like the sustained high temperatures in France back in 2003, which are blamed for more than 14,000 deaths.

In Britain, the concern was about the railroad tracks, which officials feared might buckle with the heat. Labor unions wanted more flexibility in working hours to avoid the heat and there was anger about higher prices for air conditioners and fans, which were in high demand.

And everywhere in France and across Europe, there are concerns about staying cool, hydrating, checking in on older relatives and neighbors, as new record temperatures were seen in Britain, France Germany, and the Netherlands.

As one expert observed, heat waves are on the rise. Indeed, the hottest temperatures in Europe since 1500 have all been observed in the past 20 years. For the tourists, many of them come from countries where the average temperatures run a lot higher than they have been in Europe.

(On camera): The Europeans must seem to be just a little bit precious. As the French prime minister said recently, "Our bodies are just not adapted to this kind of heat." And it should be remembered that according to one survey, only five percent of European homes have air conditioning.

Jim Bittermann, CNN, Paris.


NEWTON: Such a good point there, Derek Van Dam, from our Jim Bittermann, you're joining me from the International Weather Center. How much longer will this heat wave last because, you know, record still being shatter there?

DEREK VAN DAM, CNN WEATHER ANCHOR: Yeah, we have got another 24 hours in a few select cities like Frankfurt for instance as well as Amsterdam, but there is relief coming. It's just that we are starting to notice some trends. We've seen this for several decades now, but it's really picking up in intensity and frequency in terms of the number of heat waves.

We are also noticing that heat waves are occurring earlier in the season, so in the summer months when the northern hemisphere heats up, we typically get the warmest temperatures, in the month of August, but we've already had to two heat waves so far this season in Europe, one in June and now this one in July.

We know that we have several weeks to go before the hottest weather really impacts us, so the potential there for more heat waves certainly is on the horizon. So, we are linking strong evidence, climate change and a warming world within the climate crisis that we are in during across the planet, with our strong evidence for heat waves and climate change, linking the two together.

And what I found astonishing about this particular heat wave is that the all-time countrywide record high temperatures that we set in Germany, the Netherlands, and Belgium on Wednesday were literally demolished. They tumbled on Thursday, so they only stood for 24 hours. That gives you an idea of just how hot it got across Europe in the past couple of days. If you need more proof, here's a picture of one of the thermometers in downtown Paris, 42.5 degrees.

[02:25:00] That is an incredible amount of heat, just eclipsing the previous all-time record. Now, in the U.K., specifically, they did not have an all-time nationwide temperature record. However, they had a July record high temperature broken yesterday, 38.1 degrees in Cambridge.

I mentioned some relief. That is a cold front, folks. We like to see the oranges and the reds get replaced with greens because, Paula, you know what that means, cooler weather in store. I promised it, it is coming to Paris, London, to Belgium, your forecast is looking much better.

NEWTON: By now, Europe is saying bring it on! Thanks so much, Derek.

VAN DAM: Yeah, absolutely.

NEWTON: It is good to see you. I appreciate it.


NEWTON: Now, the trial of American rapper ASAP Rocky, who has been charged now with assault, will begin on Tuesday in Sweden. President Donald Trump has tweeted after unsuccessfully lobbying the Swedish prime minister to intercede. "Very disappointed in prime minister for being unable to act. Sweden has let our African-American community down in the United States." It ends with the hashtag free rocky.

Now the Swedish PM says he told Mr. Trump his nation would not intervene in ASAP Rocky's case as his nation's courts operate, of course, independently. The Sweden ambassador to the U.S. has just tweeted, "everyone in Sweden is, of course, equal before the law." ASAP Rocky's case is attracting international attention, though.

CNN' Melissa Bell tells us what is likely to be presented at the trial, and a warning, some of the images you are about to see are graphic.


MELISSA BELL, CNN PARIS CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Thirty-year-old American rapper ASAP Rocky has been charged with assault in Sweden. The country's public prosecutor says these images of a street fight on June 30th, first posted by DMZ, and why it circulated on the internet, are part of the evidence against ASAP Rocky. As are these pictures just released today in court documents. According to the prosecutor, the stills taken from surveillance cameras showed ASAP Rocky and two members of his entourage assaulting a man by kicking him and beating him with a glass bottle.

The 30-year-old rapper whose real name is Rakim Mayers was deemed a flight risk and has been in custody since July 3rd. His lawyer has maintained that his client was defending himself after being assaulted and that he is innocent and acted in self defense.

Among the 552 pages of court documents released today are images of the victim, Mustafa Jafari, and his injuries. Jafari is an Afghan national who moved to Sweden in 2016. The investigation into his role was dropped on Monday, according to the Swedish prosecutor. Jafari's lawyer says his client is pleased with the outcome but traumatized by the events.

MAGNUS STROMBERG, ATTORNEY FOR MUSTAFA JAFARI: This is very difficult for me. When it comes to the injuries, there has been a lot of pain. When it comes to mental condition, this has been an immensely stressful thing. Yes, problem to sleep, so it's very, very difficult for him.

BELL (voice-over): Today, the prosecutor said he based his findings on videos already widely circulated, others not yet seen, as well as surveillance, CCTV footage, and witness statements. The prosecutor says that a bottle was used to beat the victim, although police didn't find any DNA evidence on it.

Over the weekend, U.S. President Donald Trump got involved, tweeting that he called the Swedish prime minister and offering to vouch for ASAP's bail on Twitter, although Sweden doesn't have a bail system.

The Swedish prime minister told the American president that the government would not interfere in the independent traditional process. We asked ASAP's lawyer what the rapper had made of that.

SLOBODAN JOVOVIC, ATTORNEY FOR ASAP ROCKY: He's in a place where he is totally isolated. I think it is better for him to come out and explain about his feelings. I mean, now, he is just in a place where he is very, very thankful for everyone.

BELL (voice-over): ASAP Rocky's lawyer says that his client is trying to keep busy in jail, answering the many letters he has received as he awaits a trial that will begin on Tuesday.

Melissa Bell, CNN, Stockholm.


NEWTON: Boris Johnson is setting up some ground rules for what the U.K. will and won't accept in a new Brexit deal. The E.U. leaders aren't solid (ph) on the British prime minister's vision. That is ahead.

Plus, North Korea says its missile launches were a stern message to the south. We will have a live report from Beijing, coming up.



PAULA NEWTON, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: Welcome back, I'm Paula Newton, our top stories this hour, more than 100 migrants are feared dead after their boat sank off the coast of Libya, Thursday. It's believed some 300 people left on the dangerous sea crossing from a port east of Tripoli. The U.N. says more than 600 people have died on the Mediterranean, so far, this year.

The U.S. Senate Intelligence Committee is presenting the clearest picture yet, of Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election. The bipartisan report says Russian operatives tried to interfere in all 50 states, and FBI director Christopher Wray says Russians will actively try to disrupt the 2020 presidential election as well.

Britain's new prime minister says his government is, in his words, turbo charging preparations for a no-deal Brexit, in case the European Union won't renegotiate the divorce deal. Boris Johnson says the U.K. will leave by the October 31st deadline, with or without a deal, but he warns "we are not as ready as we should be.

North Korea says it test fired two missiles as a warning to South Korea, and it comes ahead of next month's military exercises with the United States. North Korean media report the launches were, in fact, organized by leader, Kim Jong-un, but South Korean and American military officials say it appears the North does not have a new type of short-range missile.

CNN's Steven Jiang is monitoring the situation from Beijing, and Steven, I want you to get your sense on what -- where they come down on this in terms of a consensus. Is this new technology or really more symbolic? We are firing this missile -- these missiles, old ones, ones that we fired before in protests of those military exercises?

STEVEN JIANG, CNN SENIOR PRODUCER: Well, Paula, it really depends on who you listen to. The North Koreans, of course, have made it very clear, these launches on Thursday, were meant to send a very solemn warning to the South Korean military.

Not only they say the leader, Kim Jong-un, personally organized these launches, but they also warned South Korean -- the South Korean leader not to ignore this warning.

Now, the U.S. and South Korean military officials have said these launches were not directed at them, and saying it would not impact their joint defence alliance and posture, and that sentiment and assessment seemed to be reflected by Mr. Trump, the U.S. president as well, when he was interviewed on U.S. television on Thursday.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: And in the case of North Korea, I'm actually getting along very well with them, but we'll see what happens, I mean, you know, the sanctions are on, the hostages are back, we're getting the remains back, they haven't done nuclear testing.

They really haven't tested missiles other than, you know, smaller ones, the -- which is something that lots test.


JIANG: So, Mr. Trump seems to be unconcerned by these latest launches and it was not entirely surprising that North Koreans launched these missiles according to experts because they have been voicing their frustrations with both Washington and Seoul, in recent weeks, because of the lack of progress on the front of nuclear talks.

[02:35:06] Remember when Mr. Kim and Mr. Trump met in the DMZ last month, they agreed to resume working level talks on the nuclear issue, but now that a month has passed, nothing has happened, so the North Korean side seems to be getting impatient. In the past, they have launched missiles as a way of voicing their displeasure and frustration, as recently as May, before the Thursday launches.

So, if that's indeed the case, we are probably not seeing the end of this, in terms of these launches, because of this increasing uncertainty on the future of nuclear talks between Washington and Pyongyang, Paula?

NEWTON: Yes, designed to get the world's attention, and that, they have done. Steven, thanks so much, appreciate it.

Now, 10 Downing Street where prime ministers have lived and worked for centuries, yes, has a new occupant, of course, and he's not exactly a stickler for tradition, why his personal life maybe breaking some norms there. Plus, fans of a Jerusalem football club are accused of racism after a new player is signed, how the team's owner is addressing the problem.


NEWTON: Britain's new leader says his government needs to, in his words, turbo charge preparations for a no-deal Brexit. Now, in his first parliamentary speech as prime minister, Boris Johnson told lawmakers that Britain will leave the E.U. on October 31st, with or without a deal. And he says there's no way they'll accept the one that's on the table right now.


BORIS JOHNSON, PRIME MINISTER, UNITED KINGDOM: Certain things need to be clear. The withdrawal agreement negotiated by my predecessor has been three times rejected by this house. It comes unacceptable to this parliament and to this country.

No country that values its independence and indeed its self-respect could agree to a treaty which signs the way our economic independence and self-government, as this backstop does. (END VIDEO CLIP)

NEWTON: OK. Now, the key point here is that the Irish backstop would keep Northern Ireland in the E.U. Customs Union if no deal is reached. It would avoid a hard border with Ireland. But Johnson says separating Northern Ireland from British Customs Union is absolutely a no go.

Now, the E.U.'s chief Brexit negotiator is pushing back, saying "this is, of course, unacceptable and not within the mandate of the European Council."

[02:40:01] Ryan Heath is a political editor for Politico Europe. He joins me now from Brussels. It is not a laughing matter, but I feel like I'm repeating the same script from three months ago, but the actors have changed, they've changed in Britain, they've also changed in Europe. Substantively, can you see anything changing in this negotiation deal from where we stand right now?

RYAN HEATH, POLITICAL EDITOR, POLITICO EUROPE (via Skype): Not in terms of the red lines, Paula, no. But it's very clear that the Britains have rejected that deal, so the E.U. is going to have to walk up to that cliff edge to sign whether they want to throw the jobs away, throw the economic growth away, or are they willing to come up with some, kind of, repackaging of what's going on there.

I agree with you. I don't think anything is going to change on the Irish border, and I think the E.U. is going to want to keep the integrity of its single market system over the idea of compromising with Britain, so I think we are headed for a fundamental clash, I think Boris Johnson knows that.

And I think he's looking to go towards a general election in Britain as well, that's why he talks in the black and white terms that he does. But, of course, there'll have to be some talks before we get there. We have to go through the motions of seeing whether there is any room for change and compromising.

NEWTON: Do you believe that putting that no deal on the table with some heft behind it, and that's Boris Johnson, assuming that he feels he has the Tory Party base and a good chunk of the U.K. with them, that putting that threat on the table will change things for the E.U. in the next round of negotiations, if there are negotiations, because Europe is saying we're done here.

HEATH: I don't think it will, in the short-term, I think if we get into that last week of October, and there hasn't been any change or there is a new mandate for Boris Johnson in any election that takes place in the meantime, that's when you might see a shift, but it's not going to change over the course of everyone's summer holidays.

The E.U. has said from the very beginning what its clear red lines were, and I think that the E.U. knows that it might be caused of the bad cop, if it is the entity that has to put in customs officers or some kind of policing at that Irish border, but it's actually more prepared than the U.K. is, for this scenario. So, I think they've priced all of that in. I think they're willing to go ahead with it if they have to, and the question is whether Boris Johnson can really change the fundamentals on his side of the game, in terms of his mandate or whether parliament backs him.

NEWTON: Yes, and putting the issue of the U.K. election aside, because that might turn out to be, in fact, messier than the situation we even have now --

Ryan, you just said the last week on October, and already, I want to run and hide until December, but anyway, in terms of negotiating with Europe here, when we talk about a crash out, right? There's a lot at stake for Europe if that happens as well, right? I mean, everyone access if it will be a calamity for the U.K. and it might very well be, but a big problem for the Europe as well.

HEATH: Absolutely. And in particular, those countries that border Britain, obviously, it's a sea border, but we're talking Netherlands, Belgium, to some extent, Germany and France as well. They know that it really is jobs out the window. They know it's going to be trucks that backup on their border and create all those terrible scenes on channels like CNN. They don't want this to happen at all.

At the same time, they know that their strength is in the unity, and it's been working for them, so far, in the negotiation. So, they're not going to give in just because Boris Johnson talks a better game than Theresa May. And he definitely does talk a better game than Theresa May, so that's why it's going to be very interesting political theater over the coming weeks and months.

But don't forget, people in Brussels know what Boris Johnson is like, he went to school, he built his career as a journalist here, and they know he is all about bluster and theatrics where he takes a grain of truth, he tells a very good story, but there's often not a lot of accurate details to back up the claims.

And so the E.U. is going to hold tight, at least, for the next couple of months when it comes to this negotiation.

NEWTON: Yes, Ryan, sounds like Europe should enjoy that August vacation and then they will need to buckle up. Ryan, thanks for getting up for us this morning. Appreciate it.

HEATH: Thank you.

NEWTON: Now, the challenges Boris Johnson faces in his new job are, of course, we just discussed, daunting enough, but no. Now, his personal life is going to be smacked in the middle of the public eye as well. Anna Stewart explains.


ANNA STEWART, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Just as Boris Johnson made a statement of defiance in his debut address as Britain's new prime minister --

JOHNSON: Never mind the backstop, the buck stops here.

STEWART: He also made a statement about his personal life, walking through the famous black door of number 10 Downing Street, alone, an iconic moment, usually shared with the prime minister's partner or children. But he wasn't completely alone, Boris Johnson's girlfriend, Carrie Symonds, watched from the sidelines.

Now, speculation grows as to whether she will move in, making Boris Johnson the first prime minister to live unmarried with a partner.

[02:45:00] CAROLINE WHEELER, DEPUTY POLITICAL EDITOR, SUNDAY TIMES: They are going to make history by being a boyfriend and girlfriend couple, moving in to that power base in number 10 Downing Street.

STEWART: The British media is also fascinated by this relationship, given the new prime minister's reputation for a colorful past life. Boris Johnson is going to a divorce after a marriage of 25 years and four children.

The relationship with Symonds, more than 20 years his junior began last year. And despite the couple often living together in Symonds' London home, they succeeded in keeping their romance out of the limelight. Then, the leadership contest began.

Police were called to their address by neighbors who complained about a loud argument. Questions then swirled in the media about Boris Johnson's fitness to become the next prime minister.

IAIN DALE, RADIO PRESENTER, LBC: You're not going to make any comment at all on what happened last night.

JOHNSON: I think that's pretty -- that's pretty obvious from the foregoing.

STEWART: Symonds though is no stranger to the world of politics or the media. Formerly working as a communications officer for Boris Johnson's Conservative Party and as an advocate for environmental causes. And as a couple, she's even credited with giving Boris Johnson a makeover.

WHEELER: Ever since she came on the scene, he's become a much drama figure, he's lost weight. He's had his hair cut, so he doesn't look quite disheveled. He's definitely smartened up his appearance. So it's been a much more disciplined Boris Johnson that we've come to see.

STEWART: It will be uncharted territory for the couple and the country as Britain's new prime minister carries out some duties they would normally include a spouse. Although, Symonds presence on his first days suggests he's not alone. And he may need that support given the daunting challenges he faces, not least, Brexit.

DALE: This -- it can be a very solitary existence. And I think all prime minister's need to have a partner that they can -- not just rely on but maybe consult on some things. And I think she will be a real rock for him in many ways. STEWART: Johnson may also now be relying on Carrie Symonds to be his rock for turbulent times. And if the prime minister and his girlfriend choose to take their relationship further, well, the world may witness the first wedding of a sitting prime minister in over 200 years.

If that happens, of course, it's likely to be after Brexit for better or for worst. Anna Stewart, CNN, London.


NEWTON: Tunisia's interim president addressed the nation's Thursday. Mohamed Ennaceur called for unity in a T.V. address. He says he'll be a president for all Tunisians with no exception or discrimination. And he pledges to preserve the country's independence.

Now, he succeeds Beji Caid Essebsi, who died Thursday at the age of 92. Essebsi was the eldest sitting president in the world and was Tunisia's first democratically elected president.

Now in Jerusalem, a football club is trying to deal with a group of hardcore fans known unfortunately for their racist remarks. Now, the team's owner says he's had enough of their actions and wants to make a change. CNN's Michael Holmes has more from Jerusalem.


MICHAEL HOLMES, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: He's a piano- playing, high-tech millionaire who decided to take on racist soccer fans by buying the team. Beitar Jerusalem is one of Israel's top clubs. The only one never to sign an Arab-Muslim player and one with a history of racism from a vocal segment of its fan base.

MOSHE HOGEG, BEITAR JERUSALEM FOOTBALL CLUB: I here to build a strong club, an advanced club, a competitive club that is winning titles with a happy football. But at the same time, to take this bad thing and take racism, and cut it out of Beitar Jerusalem.

HOLMES: Moshe Hogeg has his work cut out for him. Beitar Jerusalem has been infamous for a small group of hardcore supporters, called La Familia, best known for their chants of death to Arabs.

HOGEG: They're racist. And that's a big problem. And this small group affected the name of the hundreds of thousands of amazing Beitar fans that are not racist at all.

HOLMES: The fan record has improved, two racist chants recorded in 2018, down from 17 the season prior. That's according to the NGO, the New Israel Fund. But it's a new season and with it, a new challenge, the signing of a player named Ali Mohamed. Soon, La Familia's chants against their own player came. Mohamed is dead, is what they're saying. Ali is dead.

Now, here's the thing. Not that it should matter, of course, but Ali Mohamed is neither Arab nor is he Muslim. He's from Niger, and he says he's a devout Christian. But because his name, sounds Muslim, that's enough for some fans to want to change his name just so they don't have to say, Mohamed.

The racist element is a minority. And at the club's first preseason practice, the Mohamed-is-dead and Ali-is-dead chants were drowned out by other fans. And Moshe Hogeg, says he's suing fans who cross the line.

[02:50:20] HOGEG: I don't go to the police. I just sent a -- I file a lawsuit of anywhere between a million shekel that is equivalent to like, let's say, $300,000 and up to half a million dollars on damaging -- trying or damaging the reputation of the club.

HOLMES: Hogeg says his lawyers have sent warning letters to three fans demanding an apology. The Beitar owner says, if they don't come, he will file the lawsuits. Ali Mohamed won't talk about fan racism, he wants his football to do the talking. And this happened when we tried to get La Familia members to talk on camera.

At this practice, La Familia members were present but overwhelmed by other fans making it clear, Ali Mohamed is welcome at Beitar Jerusalem.


HOLMES: What do you think of the fans?


HOLMES: Amazing.

MOHAMED: You can see for yourself, it's amazing. Like I didn't expect this.


HOLMES: Moshe Hogeg admits it's been a tough fight and it's not yet won. He even contemplated selling the club, but he hasn't. Instead, he waits for one moment that will make his fight worthwhile.

HOGEG: When Mohamed will score the goal, you will hear the old stadium cheering for him. And I think it will be a historic moment for this club and an important one.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Ali, Ali Mohamed. Ali, Ali Mohamed.

HOLMES: Michael Holmes, CNN, Jerusalem.


NEWTON: OK, an audiovisual aid is out of a job. Yes, this after a speech by the U.S. president on Tuesday. OK, look at that screen behind him. That is a doctored presidential seal. It features the two-headed eagle, instead of one. And yes, it is, in fact, similar to the Russian Federation official seal.

Also, instead of holding arrows, you can see there one of the birds is clutching golf clubs. Now, the conservative student group Turning Point USA organized the event. The group apologized, saying there was no malicious intent.

Now, it's not every day you get to fly in one of the world's premier stunt jets. Our own Richard Quest took a once-in-a-lifetime ride. But I'm wondering if I should put some money down in his stomach. We will see.


NEWTON: OK, the stars of the next story, jet-powered stunt planes, and yes, our very own Richard Quest as I like to call him, Questy. He got his own Top Gun moment. We'll never hear the end of this with Breitling, the largest professional civilian flight team in the world. Take a look.


[02:54:42] RICHARD QUEST, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: This is not your typical flight where you ensure your seat belt is fastened and the tray table is up.

It's rather extraordinary to be flying so close to other aircraft. 7,000 feet above ground and the Breitling Jet Team, it's a bottle of laughs. And it's brilliant.

It all began in such an ordinary fashion. Some are good, some are nuts. Singing side view.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The singing pilot.

GEORGES KERN, CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER, BREITLING: Yes, I hope he is a better pilot than a singer.

QUEST: Because all of us are in trouble.

KERN: That makes -- that makes two of us.

QUEST: Excitement overflowing in the room.

KERN: So, Richards will be in position number three. And we -- he will have a fantastic view on -- is a whole jet of the seven jets. It's frightening but I am sure he will enjoy it.

QUEST: But these sorts of flight, preparation is everyone.

So, what do I wear?

KERN: You have to wear this one is your size.

QUEST: You can't fly if you're not dressed promptly.

KERN: (INAUDIBLE) this, just push and (INAUDIBLE).

QUEST: Perfectly comfortable. Like any other flight, here there's a safety briefing.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes. QUEST: But this one involves ejector seats.

KERN: Let's go.

QUEST: And so, into the air where everything changed. I was fine for the first. The battle though had me in stitches.

The second loop. Yes, dignity requires (INAUDIBLE) over the race.

Back on the ground, that I can reflect the pilot skills, the planes performance, the excellence of the experience. I feel elated.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I told you, he's turbo singer.

QUEST: Let's be honest though, I won't be doing this again. I mean it when I say, I never doing it again. Never.

Richard Quest, CNN, looping the loop with the Brighton Jet Team.


NEWTON: Now, what can we get him to make sure he does do it again? Stronger stomach than I, I usually complain did he get the great gigs, he can have that one. I'm Paula Newton, I'll be back with another hour of news, next.