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CNN NEWSROOM

Police Attack Protesters in Hong Kong; Trump's Tweet Targets Representative Elijah Cummings' Baltimore District; Democrat Presidential Candidates Prepare for Second Debate; Two Americans Arrested in Italian Cop's Stabbing Death; One-Year-Old Twins Die after Being Left in Car for Eight Hours; Statements on Immigration from 2020 Democratic Presidential Candidates; Egan Bernal Set to Become First Colombian to Win Tour de France; Seaweed Bloom Invades Beaches. Aired 4-5a ET

Aired July 28, 2019 - 04:00   ET

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


[04:00:00]

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GEORGE HOWELL, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): Voicing their anger in Hong Kong, demonstrators march again, the eighth straight weekend of protests. CNN is live on the ground, keeping watch of the growing crowds.

NATALIE ALLEN, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): In the United States, growing shock and outrage, the U.S. president calling the district a prominent African American represents a "rat and rodent infested mess."

HOWELL (voice-over): Also ahead, the countdown is on. CNN's Democratic debates, we take you behind the scenes to see what it takes to break out in a crowded field of contenders come 2020.

ALLEN (voice-over): These stories all ahead this hour and much more. Welcome here from the U.S. and around the world.

HOWELL (voice-over): NEWSROOM starts right now.

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HOWELL: It's 4:00 am on the U.S. East Coast. Protesters are marching again in Hong Kong through the financial district. The eighth straight week of pro-democracy demonstrations. Take a look at these live images. They're demanding justice for police violence during earlier protests.

ALLEN: It's happening just one day after violent clashes during an illegal rally. Police say they fired rubber bullets and tear gas into the crowds after protesters threw bricks and glass bottles at them.

Kristie Lu Stout joins us from Hong Kong.

You're there in the midst of things. What is expected today?

KRISTIE LU STOUT, CNN ANCHOR: Natalie, I am at an authorized gathering here in the heart of Hong Kong in the central district. There are thousands of people gathering here and it's turned into an unauthorized march toward (INAUDIBLE).

We haven't confirmed the destination but we believe they're marching toward the police headquarters in (INAUDIBLE) after those dramatic scenes that played out last night (INAUDIBLE) Hong Kong (INAUDIBLE) where police used tear gas, rubber bullets and pepper spray (INAUDIBLE) an unlawful protest there that attracted tens of thousands if not more.

There were those scenes of all-out chaos and as my colleague, Anna Coren, described, absolute pandemonium inside that (INAUDIBLE) train station last night, where the protesters had retreated to. Live on CNN, (INAUDIBLE) riot police, they charged into that (INAUDIBLE) space using pepper spray and batons.

We have learned (INAUDIBLE) that 24 people have been hospitalized as a result of the clashes yesterday. Human rights groups have condemned that response and that has mobilized this response that we see right now with thousands of people, if not more, mobilizing the heart of Hong Kong underneath the (INAUDIBLE) building (INAUDIBLE) final court of appeals and then this unauthorized, unlawful march toward the police station.

Now as I say, the protest was originally organized to condemn the police action of this place in (INAUDIBLE). Originally we thought this would turn into (INAUDIBLE) that area, (INAUDIBLE) takes place in front of the China liaison office (INAUDIBLE) where we saw hardcore protesters vandalize the building.

And that raised a lot of fear about whether or not Beijing or China would get involved in this ongoing protest. Earlier, we put that question to a Michael Tien, a pro-Beijing lawmaker. He is currently in Vancouver and we asked him if Beijing, if the PLA would get involved. This is what he had to say.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MICHAEL TIEN, PRO-BEIJING LEGISLATOR: Let's just say that I have connections with Beijing and I know what they are thinking about. OK?

The worst that can happen is Carrie Lam will step down, OK, and eventually an independent inquiry will take place.

We can take care of our own problems. We want all foreign intervention and foreign elements to stay out of Hong Kong and we also want Beijing to leave us alone.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

STOUT: That was comments from pro Beijing lawmaker Michael Tien, who himself has been very critical of the police response in Hong Kong but has made it very clear that this week of protests that have taken place here in Hong Kong, this is something that is up to Hong Kong and its government and its police force to resolve under Hong Kong law, matters of law and order fall under the jurisdiction of the Hong Kong government and the Hong Kong police.

(INAUDIBLE) Joshua Wong, a pro-democracy leader had been involved in this effectively leaderless movement (INAUDIBLE). I asked him if there were any behind the scenes --

[04:05:00]

STOUT: -- reconciliation or (INAUDIBLE) Hong Kong government and the protest leaders (INAUDIBLE). He said, no, they had offered to talk to Carrie Lam. She has not responded to their request. Natalie, back to you.

ALLEN: I'm sure that's frustrating after so many, many rallies that we are seeing right here, take place, that they're not hearing from the government as far as what they want. So a crowd masses yet again there in the afternoon in Hong Kong. We will certainly stay with this story as it develops. Kristie Lu Stout, thank you very much. We'll be in touch.

HOWELL: Here in the United States, the outrage is raw and real after the U.S. president Donald Trump insults an American city and its prominent African American representative to Congress. This time the target is veteran Democrat Elijah Cummings, chairman of the House Oversight Committee.

ALLEN: The president's tweet called Cummings "a bully" and said the congressmen's district in Maryland was a "rat and rodent infested mess," where no person would want to live. We get more on this from CNN's Boris Sanchez.

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BORIS SANCHEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It appears that President Trump was set off on his Twitter tirade about Representative Elijah Cummings and the district that he represents, which includes the city of Baltimore, for a combination of reasons.

The president obviously unhappy with the way that Representative Cummings grilled DHS officials during House testimony earlier this week on the issue of immigration and the president apparently also watching FOX News.

In the hour before this series of tweets were sent out, they did a segment about west Baltimore in which a FOX News commentator negatively compared conditions in that city to conditions at the southern border, laying the blame on Representative Cummings.

So that's where you get the president's line of attack. Forget questions about decorum or about race baiting, which we've seen this president do in the past.

There's also the fact that these tweets are misinformed. Representative Elijah Cummings' district is actually one of the most well-educated and most affluent, predominantly African American districts in the country. So the picture that the president is painting is, to say the least, inaccurate. The mayor of Baltimore, Jack Young, weighed in on this attack. Listen to what he said.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JACK YOUNG, BALTIMORE MAYOR; I guess everybody in the 7th District will be assaulted, including me. I mean, you ride through the 7th Congressional District and see all the developments that we had done and we are still working to rebuild some of the areas that need the help the most.

So for him to say that was an insult to me, as a resident who lives in the 7th District. That was totally an insult. We are not going ignore anyone degrading any Baltimore City and the elected leadership. No one. I don't consider it fueling the fire. I look at it as defending Baltimore City, the city where I live.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SANCHEZ: Now President Trump, as we have seen before, digging in, tweeting this out on Saturday evening, the president writing, quote, "Elijah Cummings spends all of his time trying to hurt innocent people through oversight. He does nothing for his very poor, very dangerous and very badly run district. Take a look."

And then he hashtags it #BlacksForTrump2020.

President Trump shifting into campaign mode there. But it appears he will need some help courting the African American vote. Let's not forget President Trump got 8 percent from the African American community during the 2016 election -- Boris Sanchez, CNN, at the White House.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ALLEN: Many Democrats are furious over Mr. Trump's remarks and they are pushing back hard on television and social media.

Congressman Cummings fired off this response, "Mr. President, I go home to my district daily. Each morning I wake up and I go and fight for my neighbors. It is my constitutional duty to conduct oversight of the executive branch but it is my moral duty to fight for my constituents."

And this reaction also from Baltimore politician Nick Mosby, speaking earlier with CNN's Ana Cabrera.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

NICK MOSBY, MARYLAND HOUSE OF DELEGATES: If President Trump ever decided to step foot in any part of West Baltimore, he would see hard working Americans who wake up every single day, who try to prepare their kids to become the best Americans, who go to work, who own small businesses, who are the bedrock of what we see in communities all throughout this country. And for him to try to disparage and insult an overwhelmingly majority, a part of the state of Maryland, the city of Baltimore, is just completely unacceptable.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HOWELL: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi was born in Baltimore and she defended Cummings as a beloved member of Congress, a champion of civil rights and added, "We all reject racist attacks against him and support his steadfast leadership."

Democratic senator and presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren went a step further. Listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. ELIZABETH WARREN (D-MA), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Donald Trump, once again --

[04:10:00]

WARREN: -- is a racist who makes ever more outrageous racist remarks.

To be attacked by a president issuing racist tweets is beyond insulting. It's disgusting. This president brings shame to himself and to the office.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ALLEN: Hometown newspaper "The Baltimore Sun" summed up its opinion with this headline, "Better to have a few rats than to be one."

We have mainly seen silence from Republicans on Trump's tweet.

The lieutenant governor of Maryland, who is a Republican, did respond, tweeting, "Mr. President, I have substantial policy differences with Congressman Cummings. However, I hope your criticism is not directed at the many good and hard working people who live in the district."

HOWELL: It's fair to say some stories hit a little closer to home than others, especially for people who grew up in Baltimore, the place that they call home.

But the word "infested," as an African American journalist, to hear that word "infested" used over and over, seemingly reserved only for people of color the president attacks, I understand how my colleague, Victor Blackwell, felt as he delivered the facts straight down the line. But the attacks hurt.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN ANCHOR: "Infested," he says.

The president says about Congressman Cummings district that no human would want to live there.

You know who did, Mr. President?

I did. From the day I was brought home from the hospital to the day I left for college, a lot of people I care about still do. There are challenges, no doubt, but people are proud of their community.

I don't want to sound self-righteous, but people get up and go to work there. They care for their families there. They love their children who pledge allegiance to the flag just like people who live in districts of congressmen who support you, sir. They are Americans, too.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HOWELL: Sometimes it's not about Right and Left. Sometimes it's just about right and wrong. So to reiterate Victor's point, Mr. President, these are Americans, too.

ALLEN: Well said. We'll see if this issue shows up in the next debate.

Democrats are just days away from the second round and we'll talk about how they will struggle to set themselves apart. That's coming up.

Also two Americans are sitting in an Italian jail. Police say they stabbed a police officer there. We go live to Rome for details about this case.

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[04:15:00]

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ALLEN: We're following a developing story in New York City. Police say a dozen people were shot in a Brooklyn neighborhood on Saturday night.

HOWELL: The mayor of the city, Bill de Blasio, said the shooting shattered a peaceful neighborhood event. This happened at a park. At least one person is in critical condition.

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ALLEN: The next round of Democratic presidential debates will be hosted in Detroit by CNN. It's a crowded field, 20 people competing for airtime and public recognition.

HOWELL: For the front-runner, Joe Biden, the former U.S. vice president, this is a chance to assert himself and to stand out more forcefully after his less than commanding performance for the first debate. For others, they'll be looking to articulate their vision and to build

name recognition. No doubt, they're practicing for that debate moment breakout.

ALLEN: They can't anticipate everything that might happen. But fortune tends to smile on those that are best prepared. For more about it, here's CNN's Gloria Borger.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

GLORIA BORGER, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL ANALYST: At his kickoff rally, California Congressman Eric Swalwell was center stage. But at the first primary debate, he was nearly off the stage.

REP. ERIC SWALWELL, (D-CA): Walking out is -- that is really intimidating. You're just pointing to people. I don't know if I know you or not. But I'm pointing, I'm waving and you feel like you're just completely vulnerable and everyone is looking at you.

BORGER: That debate would be his last.

SWALWELL: Today ends our presidential campaign.

Our polling stayed flat. It didn't go anywhere.

BORGER: Remaining at less than one percent. And as the field lines up for the two CNN debates, the pressure is really on, because in the fall, securing podium spotting will be twice as hard. So Detroit could be the end of the trail.

ROBBY MOOK, 2016 HILLARY CLINTON CAMPAIGN MANAGER: Maybe 12-13 candidates, there's not going to be another shot after this. To some extent not qualifying for the next debate is a death sentence.

STUART STEVENS, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: There's a lot of ways to screw up at a debate. What's essential is to think about what can I do so that there won't be a total disaster here.

BORGER: McCain attack phrases, Bradley attack praises.

Stuart Stevens has prepped Republican candidates from George W. Bush and Dick Cheney to Mitt Romney.

STEVENS: Ideally before a debate, you look at your polling and you'd say, who do I need to talk to? You would never make an ad that just says, I don't know, I'm not sure if it's going to apply to you. It would be like shooting a shotgun in the air and hoping the ducks fly by.

MOOK: What really drives coverage in these debates is friction. It is taking someone on.

BORGER: As Kamala Harris did, attacking Joe Biden's record on bussing.

SEN. KAMALA HARRIS, (D-CA) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: There was a little girl in California who was part of the second class to integrate her public schools and she was bussed to school every day. And that little girl was me.

STEVENS: She's one once she says that because she's defined herself and she got her bio. And you like that person and you're pulling for that person.

BORGER: So it didn't seem contrived?

STEVENS: There's a difference between --

[04:20:00]

STEVENS: -- prepared and contrived. I think prepared is you've thought about it. She's comfortable talking about race and it shows.

BORGER: Biden was uncomfortable being challenged in that way and that showed too.

STEVENS: You're president of the United States or you're vice president. You walk in a room, people usually applaud and you're not used to having somebody get in your face.

BORGER: If you were advising Joe Biden right now, what would you tell him to do?

MOOK: Be on offense.

BORGER: Offense.

MOOK: Be on offense. You are there to win votes. You are not there to defend your lead.

BORGER: That's fine if you're Biden, or if you're Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders fighting over many of the same voters. But if you're not a name-brand candidate, breaking out can be hard to do.

STEVENS: There's other alternatives up there that are acceptable. There's always this question like, why are you on the shelf? Do we really need eight variations of barbecue potato chips?

SWALWELL: When you're speaking, you feel the glare of the moderators looking at you like you're not a top-tier person. Stop speaking.

BORGER: What are you doing here?

SWALWELL: Yes, yes. You can feel that.

BORGER: So you had like five minutes?

SWALWELL: Four minutes and 45 seconds.

BORGER: But who's counting? But who's counting? What can you do really in that amount of time?

SWALWELL: Have a moment that gets replayed. If we're going to solve the issues of climate chaos, pass the torch. If we're going to solve the issue of student loan debt, pass the torch. If we're going to end gun violence for families who are fearful of sending their kids to school, pass the torch.

BORGER: Do you think you got a little too torchy there?

(LAUGHTER)

SWALWELL: Again, I thought all of these issues, as someone who has worked on gun violence and student loan debt, that many of them are generational.

BORGER: Did it look a little contrived, too many torches?

(LAUGHTER)

SWALWELL: Yes, maybe I could have done one fewer torch.

BORGER: In these debates, preparation can be everything.

MOOK: You can't do it for five minutes here or there. They get no lifeline. It's them, it's the camera, the audience, the moderator and the opponents.

BORGER: No phone a friend?

MOOK: There's no phone a friend. And they're going to sink or swim. And this is an important test in the process.

BORGER: And after all that studying and all those rehearsals, how does it feel backstage when your candidate goes off script?

MOOK: It's a very special feeling when you're standing there watching the television and you're thinking, what are they doing? That is not what we said, right? On the other hand, I will say, as a campaign manager, there is no way for you to know what it is like.

BORGER: Public failure is never easy, but with 20 candidates, it's more than likely.

STEVENS: You have to be willing, first of all, to admit that you're probably going to lose and be willing to lose and stand for something. You can try too hard running for president and it will always come back and bite you.

BORGER: So it's a fine line for every candidate on stage. Impress but don't look like you're trying too hard. You know, just be yourself -- Gloria Borger, CNN, Washington.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

HOWELL: All right. Let's separate the contrived from the authentic with Scott Lucas, Scott joining us this hour, professor of international politics at the University of Birmingham, also the founder of "EA WorldView." Good to have you, Scott.

SCOTT LUCAS, UNIVERSITY OF BIRMINGHAM: Very good morning to you.

HOWELL: Let's talk about Joe Biden promising to take off the gloves this time. He says no more Mr. Nice Guy but isn't that what voters like about Joe Biden?

How do you see him striking that balance?

LUCAS: It's going to be very interesting for Joe Biden because what happened before the first debate is he was really riding the wave of name recognition. After all, he was the vice president. He's been in Washington for 40 years.

But when he got tested on issues, specifically the issue of race and of busing, it wasn't enough to get him by. So I don't think it's enough to say I'm going to take the gloves off. I'm going to be tough Joe as opposed to nice Joe.

The question is, how does he engage with those other nine candidates on that night on the podium about climate change, about economics, about immigration as well as about issues of race?

In other words, I think Joe Biden is going to have to get down and start discussing issues, whether it's nice or nasty in terms of the tone he tries to strike.

HOWELL: We know that the former vice president will likely be pushed. He'll face Senators Harris and Booker. Both have taken issue with Biden's past record when it comes to criminal justice reform and race, as you point out.

Is this the winning strategy for them or can Biden focus on the present?

LUCAS: It was interesting in your package that your experts were talking about creating friction to create the moment and I understand that. But I think the big thing is you actually have to create a bit of policy and ideas as well.

I think what has been notable is that Kamala Harris got that boost in the first debate because her challenge to Biden was based on an issue, about the way people of color have been treated in the past and treated in the present. Julian --

[04:25:00]

LUCAS: -- Castro got a boost in the first debate, although he's a relatively little known candidate for many people because he raised the question of trying to deal with migrants fairly rather than putting them in detention centers.

And Elizabeth Warren, who's not pushed for friction, has really pushed for the idea of putting out policies, whether it's economic justice or employment or health care. If you're going to look at the exchanges between Harris and Booker, another candidate and Joe Biden, well, Walter Mondale said it in 1984, where's the beef?

And I think that line in terms of substance rather than style still carries resonance.

HOWELL: President Trump, he recently commented about Bernie Sanders. Mr. Trump saying he seems to have missed his time.

Does Sanders still have that support and appeal he had the last election cycle?

LUCAS: I mean, Bernie Sanders still has two things. One is he has the name recognition and he has a lot of loyal supporters who really, at times, when he was not as well-known, went into the campaign and have ridden with it for four years.

Now the question is, when you have other people talking about issues that Bernie raised, such as national health care for all, such as dealing with the banking and financial systems in terms of fairness for all, can he regain the idea that he has something distinctive to say?

I think in the first debate he struggled to do that, let's see if he can retake the stage in the second debate, especially among the people that have overtaken him on issues, Elizabeth Warren will be right there next to him.

HOWELL: Scott Lucas with perspective, thanks a lot.

LUCAS: Thank you, George.

HOWELL: Don't forget, the next Democratic debates only here, live on CNN Tuesday and Wednesday. Coverage at 8:00 pm Eastern time in the United States. You can see an encore presentation 7:00 am London time the day after, only here on CNN.

ALLEN: We need a new zinger.

"Where's the beef" was good. But that's been too long.

All right, we'll be looking for that.

Back to Hong Kong in a moment. Protesters making themselves clear yet again. They say they won't stand for the kind of violence seen here Saturday, when police chased them to the subway station. We'll look back at that shocking scene coming next.

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[04:30:00]

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ALLEN: Welcome back to our NEWSROOM from viewers around the world.

HOWELL: I'm George Howell with the headlines we're following.

(HEADLINES)

ALLEN: Hong Kong police say they fired rubber bullets and tear gas into the crowd Saturday because protesters threw bricks and glass bottles at them but Amnesty International says police escalated the tension, targeting retreating protesters, civilians and journalists.

HOWELL: Police charged protesters as well. And CNN's Anna Coren and her team inside a train station, she described what was happening live on air.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ANNA COREN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: We have just been charged by riot police. (INAUDIBLE) train station. This is absolute mayhem. They have just come at the protesters, wielding batons, spraying pepper spray. It is pandemonium inside here.

I have no idea how they are planning to disperse this crowd. It is absolute chaos. We were just chased outside (INAUDIBLE). They were absolutely chaotic scenes. I have never witnessed anything quite like this, where there was a peaceful, peaceful demonstration inside.

These protesters, they're not trashing anything; all they were doing was standing here. They are being pushed on and they're (INAUDIBLE) riot police charged. We are inside a train station. We are inside a train station.

And I want the world to see what is going on here (INAUDIBLE). This is absolute craziness. There they are, with their batons, with their pepper spray. (INAUDIBLE). The aggression is out of control.

These are not protesters throwing bricks. These are protesters just standing here. That is (INAUDIBLE), that is an umbrella. There are (INAUDIBLE) here but there are still about 100 or so hardcore protesters who are refusing to go home.

But we want you to see what is going on here. Here (INAUDIBLE) inside a shopping mall, on the way to the train station. It was an absolutely wild scene. We were being chased through.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ALLEN: We appreciate Anna and her crew for hanging in there to bring us in that story. You could hear in her voice how nerve racking that was.

Hong Kong hospital authorities say 24 people were injured as a result of Saturday's clashes. Police arrested 11 people.

HOWELL: We're following the latest protests in Hong Kong throughout the day. Of course, again this live image as the protests come together. We'll have updates here on CNN for you.

Now to Italy, authorities -- [04:35:00]

HOWELL: -- have arrested two Americans in connection with the death of a police officer.

ALLEN: According to police, he was stabbed in Rome during an altercation with these two. Police add the two confessed to the crime after being interrogated. Italy's interior minister says he wants both of them to serve life in prison. Barbie Nadeau has been coverage this story and joins us live from Rome.

So far we have only heard from the police on this story but I want to start with you on how this occurred. According to police, it started as a drug deal gone wrong.

Is that right?

BARBIE NADEAU, CNN CORRESPONDENT: That's right. That's what the police are saying. They're saying these two, a 19- and 18-year-old Americans from San Francisco bought cocaine in Rome in the early morning hours of Friday.

And when they got the cocaine, they determined or realized very soon that it was actually crushed aspirin. So they went back to the pusher and demanded an explanation. They stole his backpack, allegedly, and then they made a deal with the pusher in order to try to get the backpack back and to get real cocaine.

This is according to the police. At that point, the police officer working undercover and apparently without any weapons, which is a curiosity, had an altercation along with a partner with these two 18- and 19-year-old Americans.

At that time, the police alleged that the American boys stabbed the police officers and then ran to the hotel room and hid their bloody knife and bloody clothes in the ceiling panel and were planning their escape out of the country.

That's according to the police narrative and they have really driven the narrative so far and it's important to know that the police lost one of their own. This is a man that just returned back to the force after his honeymoon, much loved in Rome and much respected within the force.

So I think we have a lot of emotion running high from the side of the police at this point -- Natalie.

ALLEN: Such a tragic, tragic story. We'll have the attorneys for the teenagers or the families of these teenagers made any statements to elaborate on what the story is here.

NADEAU: Well, the family of Finnegan Elder did release a public statement, saying they didn't have a lot of details and that they express their sorrow for what happened to the police officer.

The lawyer for that young man as well, this is a court appointed lawyer at this time, made a statement that his client is no longer exercising his right to remain silent at this point.

We haven't heard from the lawyer for the other young man. We understand that he is an American citizen and an Italian citizen, according to some of the court documents we have seen. This young man was actually visiting family in a city outside of Rome and met his friend from the States and had come into Rome to party it up. And that's what we were hearing.

But as these cases always go, as they evolve, you find out more details. And as their lawyers and representation, we heard that the State Department and the consulate haven't been allowed access to either of these American citizens. And that's also something that really, really needs to be looked into. And we are doing our best to get to the bottom of where this investigation is going.

ALLEN: All right. We'll hear from you again soon. Thanks so much, Barbie Nadeau in Rome.

HOWELL: A father as being charged with manslaughter and negligent homicide in New York after his 1-year-old twins died after being left for hours inside a hot car.

ALLEN: Sadly, this kind of tragedy is all too common in the U.S. CNN's Dianne Gallagher has more for us.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

DIANNE GALLAGHER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It's just an absolutely crushing story out of the Bronx in New York City. Police say that a 39-year- old father left his twin 1-year-old children strapped into the backseat of his Honda while he went to work at a nearby V.A. hospital.

According to the police there, those children were left in the car for at least eight hours.

Now witnesses said that they heard that man, 39-year-old Juan Rodriguez, saying this was a mistake, this was not his fault. He did not do this intentionally.

But he has been charged in the death of his 1-year-old daughter and son, two counts of manslaughter, two counts of criminal negligence. We spoke to a man that says he has been the best friend of Rodriguez for the past nine years and he called Rodriguez a great father.

He said he was a social worker at the nearby V.A. hospital and that they had just seen the twins the night before, that they had celebrated their first birthday as a neighborhood with a bounce house and bubbles and really just seemed in disbelief that this had happened here.

Now we made have attempts to contact Rodriguez's attorney. It was 86 --

[04:40:00]

GALLAGHER: -- degrees in New York that day. And look, unfortunately, it's far too common, parents leaving their children in hot vehicles. It sounds shocking but, over the past 20 years, about a quarter of those hot car deaths involving children, those kids were left in the parking lot of a place of employment while a parent or a caregiver went to work.

So experts say, if you think you're going to forget, if you're busy, you're tired, whatever, just be safe. Put a shoe, put your phone, put your bag in the back seat. It only takes minutes for these children to die in those cars, let alone the eight hours that police say these twins were left in their car.

ALLEN: Well, the father, Juan Rodriguez, appeared in court Saturday. He posted bail.

And I have noticed those traffic signs on the interstate, the electronic ones, are now saying never leave your child in a car, warning people to kind of wake up to that.

HOWELL: It's so important just to realize the danger there; some people just don't quite get it.

Well, still ahead, the Democrats running for the U.S. president, they all agree that President Trump is wrong on immigration.

ALLEN: But they don't always agree on what to do about it. We look at their policies when we come back.

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HOWELL: Just days away from that big debate. A lot of people will be watching that.

Immigration has been a keystone of controversy for the Trump administration. Trump has been slammed for calling a Muslim ban, for his border wall proposal and inhumane conditions in migrant shelters.

These policies are also something that 2020 candidates have seized upon. CNN's Ed Lavandera has this look at where they agree and where they don't.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ED LAVANDERA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: What happens here along the U.S. southern border casts a long --

[04:45:00]

LAVANDERA: -- shadow over the 2020 presidential election and Democrats are pushing their own immigration vision in the age of Trump.

MAYOR PETE BUTTIGIEG, (D-IN) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: The president thinks that he can turn people against immigrants in order to distract them from the things that are making it so hard to get ahead in this country right now.

LAVANDERA: The constant theme for most Democrats is they are the opposite of President Trump, vowing to end what they see as Trump using immigrants to stoke the fears of Americans.

JOE BIDEN, (D) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We can enforce our immigration laws and still uphold our humanitarian obligations and the values of this nation.

LAVANDERA: The two Texans in the Democratic field cast themselves as some of the strongest voices on this issue. In April Julian Castro, the former San Antonio mayor who served as Housing and Urban Development Secretary under President Obama, was the first to unveil a detailed immigration plan, while immigration is also a constant theme of former Congressman Beto O'Rourke's campaign stops.

Both, as well as many others in the Democratic field, call for a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants already in the country, citizenship for undocumented immigrants brought to the U.S. as children, known as Dreamers and funding for more border wall construction, they want to close private for profit immigration detention centers and reform the immigration court system.

Castro and O'Rourke have clashed over a section of the law that makes it a crime to enter the U.S. illegally. Castro wants to repeal the law, making illegal entry a simple civil violation.

JULIAN CASTRO, (D) PRESIDENT CANDIDATE: They're using Section 1325 of that act, which criminalizes coming across the border, to incarcerate the parents and then separate them. Some of us on this stage have called to end that section, to terminate it. Some, like Congressman O'Rourke, have not.

BETO O'ROURKE, (D) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I helped to introduce legislation that would ensure that we don't criminalize those who are seeking asylum and refuge in this country.

CASTRO: I'm not talking about the ones --

O'ROURKE: If you're fleeing desperation --

LAVANDERA: The detention of families over the last year has shaped the rhetoric of most Democrats. Elizabeth Warren is like most of these candidates, calling for families not to be detained while their immigration cases are being processed.

SEN. ELIZABETH WARREN, (D-MA) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: No great nation tears families apart. No great nation locks up children. We need -- we must at the borders respect the dignity of every human being who comes here.

LAVANDERA: The Trump administration's hardline approach on reducing the number of undocumented immigrants in the country has inspired some candidates to call for the end of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency.

MAYOR BILL DE BLASIO, (D) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We don't need this ICE, though. That's the other thing I should say. This ICE as it's formed now should be abolished.

LAVANDERA: Most candidates aren't going that far, instead calling for ICE to be reformed and some of its immigration enforcement duties to be passed off to other agencies.

SEN. BERNIE SANDERS, (D-VT) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I think it's not just ICE. It is very clear that the immigration system itself, you've heard some of if and there's a lot more we haven't discussed today is completely broken. It's absolutely broken.

LAVANDERA: Democrats are facing accusations from President Trump of pushing for open borders and being weak on security. It's a question that will follow these candidates.

KRISTINN HRAFNSSON, WIKILEAKS EDITOR-IN-CHIEF: And it is part of what this president is trying to do to really misinform the American people, to say that Democrats don't care about border security. We have to enforce our laws and keep our borders safe.

LAVANDERA: The shadow of the border is casting a deep divide on the presidential campaign trail -- Ed Lavandera, CNN, Dallas.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ALLEN: It's not what you want to see when you go to the beach. It is nasty and it stinks and it's invading beaches from Mexico to Miami. Why massive amounts of seaweed are washing ashore. We'll talk about it with Derek Van Dam coming back.

It's just right there.

HOWELL: Oh, wow.

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[04:50:00]

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ALLEN: Well, if you know don't know his name you're about to. Egan Bernal is poised to become the first Colombian to win the Tour de France and the youngest rider in 110 years. The 22-year-old cyclist kept his lead after stage 20 on Saturday.

HOWELL: Although he still has to finish Sunday's stage, it's traditionally not contested except for the final sprint. Bernal crushed the dreams of the hometown crowd, who expected French man Julian Alaphilippe to win the first title for France in 34 years. ALLEN: Congratulations. People in Colombia love that.

Some of the most beautiful beaches in the Western Hemisphere now face an ugly and smelly effect of climate change.

HOWELL: This is just sad. So once pristine shores like these in Miami Beach, they're seeing white sands and crystal blue waters turn into this, huge mats of brown seaweed, blanketing large swaths of that beach.

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ALLEN: All right. The day's top stories are just ahead here.

HOWELL: Stay with us. We'll be back and continue to monitor what's happening in Hong Kong. We'll be back.

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