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Ninth Straight Week of Hong Kong Protests; Opponents Question Legitimacy of New Puerto Rico Governor; Trump Plans to Drop Ratcliffe for Intel Chief; Boris Johnson Suffers Early By-Election Defeat; A$AP Rocky Goes Home; American Teen's Family Wants to See Video Evidence of Italian Policeman's Murder; Authorities Investigate Death of Saoirse Kennedy; Republican Will Hurd Won't Run Again; Damaged Dam Endangers an English Town. Aired 3-4a ET

Aired August 3, 2019 - 03:00   ET

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


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NATALIE ALLEN, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): Live video here from Hong Kong, this is the ninth weekend or protests taking place in one of the most crowded places in the world, we will take you to the center of it.

Also this hour, out before he was, in Donald Trump's pick for Director of National Intelligence is officially out of the running.

And we are learning more about the death of yet another Kennedy, a young woman in Massachusetts, we will have that story.

Live from CNN Center I'm Natalie Allen, thank you so much for joining.

It is the ninth straight weekend of public protests in Hong Kong, this week there are two dueling demonstrations fighting for attention, we are seeing the protests here, thousands are gathering in Hong Kong, one of the most crowded places in the world, meantime police are holding their own rally in Victoria Park.

CNN is covering all angles. Matt Rivers is with pro-democracy protesters, Ben Wedeman in the pro-police event.

And let's begin with you, Matt, what are you seeing there?

MATT RIVERS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Natalie, like you said, this is two months straight of protests in Hong Kong, what is going on is just the latest iteration. You can see behind me there are hundreds if not thousands of people that have gathered at the starting point for today, there is going to be an assembly, here there has been some speeches given that the march will likely start and a half an hour from now.

All of this has been sanctioned by police and that is why right now what you're seeing it's different than what we saw for example last, weekend, last weekend you saw protesters engaging in an assembly that police team to unlawfully that's why most people had their faces covered, trying to conceal their identities.

And here you are seeing a much broader cross section of Hong Kong society, you have people that are, older kids and no one really is covering their face for the most part because this is illegal demonstration that is going on right now.

And this is what we have seen happen, you see peaceful marches, speeches and then what happens is if there is going to be violence it will happen later on, hours from now once the sun goes down and once policing the legal permission and they have been granted to be here will end at some point.

And if violence happens is what will happen but right now we are seeing is very indicative of what we have seen another protests, peaceful assembling, trying to get their pro-democracy message out to the world.

ALLEN: They sure have been patient, they have been out there for so very long and now we know about another rally, that is where our Ben Wedeman is.

You were there where this pro police event is about to go, tell us about that.

BEN WEDEMAN, CNN SR. INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: We are in Victoria Park about 20 or 30 minute drive from where Matt is and all this is a completely different crowd, this is a very well set up stage, there is some financing behind this event.

And what is significant is that if you look at the crowd many of them are of a certain age, older than perhaps many of those who have been taking part in these protests because, of course, these people are against the protest movement, they are very much the law and order crowd when it comes to this situation in Hong Kong. They would like to see --

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WEDEMAN: -- normality returned to the territory, here you see a sign says give peace a chance, these are people who would like to see life get back to normal.

Now over there you see a Chinese flag indicating that they are very much believers in the one country/two system arrangement that has been in place in Hong Kong since 1997, when British sovereignty came to an end.

We were speaking with many of the people here and they say they are part of -- as one man told me -- the silent majority in Hong Kong, whether they are the majority or not is not altogether clear.

But it is important to keep in mind that as we spend the last nine weeks focusing on the pro democracy movement that there is another side of the coin, those that are happy with this situation as it is and feel that perhaps, given the disruption to life in the territory, it is fine that life gets back to normal. ALLEN: All right, the silent majority stepping out today, Ben will be covering that aspect for, us and things, of course, to Matt Rivers.

Let's talk to pro-democracy protester Ventus Lau, joining us from Hong Kong.

Ventus, thank you so much for talking with, us you just heard our reporter there, the protest this weekend include a pro Beijing rally, it is also called a pro police rally, what are your thoughts on that occurring?

VENTUS LAU, PRO-DEMOCRACY PROTESTER: I think the pro Beijing camp is doing their best to show they have the ability to mobilize the people but as you have seen, most of the people who have mobilized are senior citizens and the number is very limited.

And regard to the pro democratic crowd, most of them are youngsters and most of them are more, more energetic, so I believe that -- they are the employed or being asked to worry with some benefits.

ALLEN: We are seeing a generational divide in this issue; at the same time, are you concerned about the safety of the people that are taking to the streets yet again after the violence we have seen recently?

LAU: Of course we, are everyone in Hong Kong is worried about the safety issues of, as we've seen in the last month, police brutality has become worse, tear gas has become a common practice for every protest. So I really don't want to see this happen but we won't give up just because of that.

ALLEN: You are not frustrated at this point, it has been nine long weeks and it seems like no matter what these groups, to how long they stay out, there the leaders in Hong Kong aren't listening.

LAU: Actually we are not very hopeful for any positive feedback from the chief executive. but we all believe that this may be the last time we can come to the street to demonstrate for our freedom and democracy. There may not be another opportunity. So as long as there is a little bit of hope, we will fight until the end and sacrifice anything.

ALLEN: It is tremendous, the resolve of the young people that have been there throughout this process, when you say they can't hold out much longer, do you think this will come to an end if this extradition bill is not withdrawn completely, which is why keeps people coming into the street?

LAU: I think it is, it is a battle between the protesters and the government and regard of time, we need to fight to see who will give up first, who is surrendered first and we are still trying to fight until the very end.

And we see the government is trying to do something to, the government is trying to do something to stop, this for example they are trying to arrest many of us and trying to say that the Communist army is going to enter Hong Kong. So I think they are trying to fight and as long as we persist there will be some change in the government's action.

ALLEN: Do you think that is a bluff on the part of Hong Kong authorities saying that Beijing might get involved here?

LAU: Actually I don't believe we will be true because Hong Kong's high autonomy is very important for Beijing for an economic and political --

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LAU: -- aspects, so I don't believe that Beijing will take action to destroy our own autonomy and their own benefits by employing some army to Hong Kong. So they are just trying to fight us and make Hong Kong people stop coming out.

ALLEN: Right, we appreciate your thoughts so much, thank you for joining us, Ventus Lau, thank you.

And our viewers can learn more about these protests, of what is at stake for these people at cnn.com and a special section that features maps and backgrounds and links to videos, cnn.com/protest>

We turn now to Puerto Rico where a new governor has been sworn into office, Pedro Pierluisi took the oath Friday, replacing Ricardo Rossello who stepped down after weeks of protests against him but they are now questioning the legitimacy of the appointment that is because the senate in Puerto Rico has not yet weighed in on the nomination, CNN's Leyla Santiago has more for us in San Juan.

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LEYLA SANTIAGO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Protests are continuing here in old San Juan at the governor's mansion here in Puerto Rico says that Pedro Pierluisi will be the new governor of Puerto Rico after Ricardo Rossello stepped down, now a lot of people are saying they are not happy with that selection and more so they are questioning the constitutionality of that decision.

Why is that?

They are saying that he was confirmed by the house but he was not confirmed by the senate and his appointment as secretary of state, the next in line, should the governor reside and the senate here will not consider the issue until next week, so it is far from over.

And whether these protesters are questioning their constitutionality of this decision or are they just unhappy with this selection, they say it is enough for them to stay on the streets and not go on, continuing to call for an island that can't get rid of corruption.

Very, much a lot of uncertainty still on the island of Puerto Rico as they figure out what's next for the island -- in San Juan, Puerto Rico, Leyla Santiago, CNN.

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ALLEN: Pedro Pierluisi told reporters he is ready to serve but added he would step down if not confirmed by legislators.

Three people died when a cliff collapsed in Southern California, it occurred on a beach in this city of Encinitas where people were enjoying the sun and sea. The collapse left a swath of debris next to beach chairs and surfboards. Authorities rescued five people, from the rubble.

Just days after President Trump announced his pick for America's top spy chief, the president now says that he will pick someone else. We will explain what was behind the about face next.

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ALLEN: President Trump says that he will soon choose a replacement for Dan Coats, his Director of National Intelligence, said to step down and a couple of weeks but Republican congressman John Ratcliffe who had been nominated actually now will not be offered the job, CNN's Alex Marquardt explains why.

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ALEX MARQUARDT, CNN SENIOR NATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT (voice- over): Congressman John Ratcliffe no longer President Trump's pick to be the next director of national intelligence, before even being officially nominated.

Sources two spoke with President Trump telling CNN he privately voiced concerns in recent days about Ratcliffe's ability to be confirmed, despite saying this in public yesterday:

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I think he's just outstanding, highly respected by everybody that knows him.

MARQUARDT: But, as he spoke, pressure was growing on Capitol Hill.

SEN. CHUCK SCHUMER (D-NY): He strikes me as extremely unqualified in every way.

MARQUARDT: Senate Democrats, as well as some Republicans, expressing their own concerns about Ratcliffe's experience and possible dishonesty about his past.

SEN. RICHARD BLUMENTHAL (D-CT): There needs to be a thorough investigation of his implied claims.

MARQUARDT: Ratcliffe has touted his time as a U.S. attorney in East Texas as his main national security credential, a period that lasted only 14 months. In his congressional bio, Ratcliffe claims that during that time he put terrorists in prison. But a CNN search of terror-related cases doesn't show any that Ratcliffe himself prosecuted and his office couldn't offer examples or evidence.

In that same congressional bio, Ratcliffe also says he arrested 300 illegal aliens in a single day, even though it was actually a multistate, multiagency operation to sweep up suspected illegal workers. In the end, according to "The Washington Post," just 45 workers were charged by Ratcliffe's office, six of whom were dismissed.

Then there is his lack of intelligence experience, having never served at any of the agencies he was slated to lead, a big change from previous DNIs, who mostly all had significant intel expertise.

Ratcliffe has also only been on the House Intelligence Committee for six months and wasn't well-known on Capitol Hill.

SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL (R-KY): Look, I haven't met Congressman Ratcliffe yet and we're going to get together and discuss all of this. MARQUARDT: The president putting all this to rest this afternoon,

tweeting: "Rather than going through months of slander and libel, I explained to John how miserable it would be for him and his family," adding: "John has therefore decided to stay in Congress."

MARQUARDT: And just moments ago, President Trump said that he now has a list of three people that he could name as director of national intelligence and may announce his choice as soon as Monday.

Jake, he also said that when Dan Coats steps down later this month, that Coats' deputy, Sue Gordon, could be considered as the acting director.

But sources have been telling us that in the White House they have begun searching for other possible names. So that could mean the president may need to fill the very top two intelligence positions in the country --

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MARQUARDT: -- with new people -- Alex Marquardt, CNN, Washington.

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ALLEN: Democrats on Capitol Hill have reached a significant milestone, a majority of the U.S. House of Representatives now, 118 so far have come out in favor of a formal impeachment inquiry, not too long ago only a few were making that argument but there is no indication that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is on board.

Let's talk more with Jessica Levinson, she joins us from Los Angeles, she is a professor of Loyola Law School.

Thank you for being with us.

JESSICA LEVINSON, LOYOLA UNIVERSITY LAW SCHOOL: Great to be. Here

ALLEN: Mr. Ratcliffe's nomination had been highly controversial because he lacked experience.

And why do you think he was nominated in the first place by President Trump?

LEVINSON: I think he was nominated because he is someone who Trump likes; he has been a supporter President Trump and that is the biggest thing for President Trump, to demonstrate some loyalty.

And I think what this also shows it is frankly limited vetting on behalf of the Trump White House, we now have seen a serious pattern of people who have been nominated for senior positions and who have had to withdraw their nominations because President Trump is essentially allowing the press to do the vetting that you would assume the White House would do.

ALLEN: Half a dozen nominees have withdrawn after negative information became public, what does that say about the White House vetting process?

LEVINSON: Well, it doesn't say much for the White House vetting process, what it shows is that President Trump is accomplishing a lot by tweets and in some ways I think it is surprising senior officials.

So typically what would happen is you would have an FBI background check, of any type of nominee like this. And then you would have a very rigorous vetting through the White House itself where you would top not just to people who the person is currently working with but you would go through every part of the resume with a fine tooth comb.

And that is not happening now, we are in a different world where President Trump says this person was a supporter, they have shown loyalty, they have even a tenuous connection to the job, we are going to go ahead and nominate, them.

I think under the theory that we hope it sticks, if it doesn't, it doesn't and we try again,

ALLEN: So let's go to another topic impeachment, according to a CNN count, majority of House Democrats are now on record publicly supported an impeachment inquiry and starting the Mueller report, what aspect of the report do you find most damaging to the president that is calling all the people that you see there on the screen to now support impeachment?

LEVINSON: Yes, I think the most damaging thing for the president is part two of the Mueller report, which deals with obstruction of justice. You have a report that details at least 10 instances where the president either attempted or did try to obstruct justice and, attempted or actually did so.

I would say that my firm belief, if we are talking about Senator Trump as opposed to President Trump, there would be an indictment, that the only reason there was an indictment in this case is because of the Office of Legal Counsel memorandum that says you don't indict a sitting president, I think the members of Congress have finally started reading the, report, looking at the report, to a certain extent listening to Robert Mueller's testimony -- although that was largely a disappointment.

And you have to imagine that at this point, Nancy Pelosi who, of course, is Speaker of the House, the leader of a Democratic Party, she is between a rock, a hard, place an earthquake fall and a volcano, she doesn't want to go forward but her caucus is voicing dissent.

ALLEN: All right, one to watch for sure, we always appreciate, it, Jessica, thank you for your insights.

LEVINSON: Thank you.

ALLEN: British prime minister Boris Johnson is facing a big political test days after taking power, his working majority has been cut to just one, after the pro European Liberal Democrats won a parliamentary by-election and with crucial Brexit votes coming up, every vote matters. Anna Stewart is in London for us.

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ANNA STEWART, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Boris Johnson is British prime minister for just one week but suffered a defeat and it has brought his majority down to one. That is even counting the 10 MPs he relies on from the Northern Irish party.

That will make getting legislation through Parliament difficult, however when it comes to Brexit, a Brexit deal if he can reach one --

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STEWART: -- or, of course, no deal through Parliament by the end of October, the ever increasing majority it might not make much difference, this prime minister is likely to face rebellion from some MPs from his party. That is a concept that should be familiar to him since he himself voted down his predecessor Theresa May's deal twice.

This by-election is significant, it voted to leave the E.U. and it reflects the national results and here we have him voting for a Remain party, the Liberal Democrats, that is going to help Remainer calls for a second referendum on Brexit.

Then we saw an unusual alliance between Remain political parties in this by-election, we have the Welsh political party, the Green Party both deciding not to contest the seat that a vote Remain wouldn't be split and the most likely Remain party, the Liberal Democrats, to win.

If we have a general election coming up, we could see this alliance will play out again -- Anna Stewart, CNN, London.

(END VIDEOTAPE) ALLEN: One of America's prominent political families suffers another tragedy, ahead here the young granddaughter of Robert F. Kennedy has died, more about it, after this.

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ALLEN: Welcome back to viewers here in the U.S. and around the world you're watching CNN NEWSROOM live from Atlanta, I'm Natalie Allen with our top stories.

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NATALIE ALLEN, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): The U.S. president is celebrating the release of detained rapper A$AP Rocky, this after a judge let him out of jail to await the verdict of his assault case.

In a tweet President Trump said this was a rocky week and called for him to get home ASAP. He demanded the rapper's release and raised the issue with the prime minister. A$AP Rocky left Sweden on a private jet bound for the U.S., he landed in Los Angeles as you can see here moments ago, a decision in his case expected August 14th.

CNN's Salma Abdelaziz joins us now from more about it from London, hello.

SALMA ABDELAZIZ, CNN PRODUCER: Hi Natalie this really closes a chapter in the A$AP Rocky case, one that has drawn the attention of celebrities,, fans and, of course, president Donald Trump himself, who intervened on his behalf on Twitter and by phone.

It was an emotional moment when the judge did announce his release. We saw his mother crying in court, some of his friends and family erupting in cheers. Take a listen to what his lawyer said at the time.

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SLOBODAN JOVIVIC, A$AP ROCKY'S LAWYER: We had two goals. One goal was that my client was going to be a free man today and that we have achieved. And then we are hoping for an acquittal in 14 days. But we have to wait and see.

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ABDELAZIZ: President Trump was heavily involved in this case, A$AP Rocky had been in jail in Sweden for nearly a month after he was accused of serious assault allegations, causing bodily harm against a 19-year old Afghan man in the country after a concert.

A$AP Rocky has maintained his innocence, during the trial, saying that he was acting in self defense and that he felt threatened, President Trump even going so far at one point he sent his special envoy for hostage affairs.

Yesterday we saw a leaked letter from that special envoy to the Swedish prosecution saying that there could be, quote, "negative consequences" for bilateral nations between the two countries and now that this is potentially put to bed we will wait and see what happens in these next two weeks and what the judge's final verdict will be for the rapper.

ALLEN: All right, thank you.

Well, the parents of one of the two American teens being held in this stabbing death of an Italian police officer asking the prosecutor to produce evidence of the crime, they visited their son in a prison in Rome on Friday, Finnegan Elder and another teenager are accused of stabbing the officer 11 times during a drug bust gone wrong.

In his statement Elder's father says that he hopes the video evidence will show what actually happened.

Joining me now with the latest from Rome, is CNN's Melissa Bell.

What is the chances there will see any video evidence, Melissa?

MELISSA BELL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, it has been now more than a week since that tragic killing took place, you can see tributes to the Italian officer here at that spot, you mentioned the video evidence, as Elder's father left the country, he issued on it to make it, available.

Now that is crucial because you remember that the event would begin with wouldn't lead to them just down the road here, the problem is the way the Italian system works means that --

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BELL: -- so far we had an awful lot of information from the prosecution, from the investigating judge, there have been press conferences, leaks.

But we have very little from the defense, apart from the source close to the defense expressing his frustration that the defense has not been given access to crucial things like the full autopsy report, which is not ready, although the facts, according to the Italian prosecution that he was stabbed 11 times, is now widely known, has been widely spoken about in the media.

The other crucial part of the evidence, the defense wanted access to and that is what his father statement reminding us of is the CCTV footage that gives us where the alleged conversation took place on Friday morning a week ago.

According to the prosecutors office one of the cameras was broken but the CCTV footage shows exactly the events of that I will only be available once it has been fully collected by the prosecution. Now what may speed things up is that well his Elder and friend remain in custody the lawyer for him has said that he is launching an appeal for his client, that was launched a couple of days ago, which has forced prosecution to get all the documents ready to give access to the defense by Monday.

So the defense will get their hands on all these documents, including the footage faster than they would have otherwise, because remember that prosecutors have up to six months or even a year to bring charges against a team if they decide to do so.

ALLEN: So they will be held possibly for that log and have we seen them yet since their arrest, have they made any appearance in court?

BELL: No, for the time being, all we have seen is pictures, those deals that were taken on the morning just on the road from here, we have seen that CCTV footage that has been released, leaked and then confirmed to be genuine, of them running through the streets, having allegedly stolen a backpack and before the alleged killing took place.

So there are, for the time being, an awful lot of holes, we have not seen and heard from the teens apart from their witness statements, their confessions that were contained in the documents that have been given to the press on the morning of their arrest, we have heard very little from the lawyers and families.

That is why, remember the Amanda Knox case, for the time being and a week after this murder we have one version of the events and precious little from the other side -- Natalie.

ALLEN: All right, we will be waiting to see what happens next, Melissa Bell live for us.

Here in the United States the Kennedy family is enduring another shattering loss, Saoirse Kennedy Hill, the granddaughter of Robert Kennedy, has died. CNN reports that she was just 22.

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ROSA FLORES, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): One of America's prominent political families struck again by tragedy, Robert F. Kennedy's granddaughter, 22-year-old Saoirse Kennedy Hill, died Thursday after she was found unresponsive at the family home in Massachusetts.

Her mother, Courtney Kennedy Hill, was one of the 11 children of the late presidential candidate and his human rights activist wife, Ethel Kennedy. Police say they responded to a call about an unresponsive female at the Kennedy family compound, a place which captured the nation's attention during the presidency of John F. Kennedy in the 1960s.

Saoirse was transported to a Cape Cod hospital, where she was pronounced dead, the cause of death was not immediately released but authorities say that an autopsy showed no trauma. They are now awaiting results on toxicology reports. The Robert F. Kennedy family issued a statement saying their hearts

are shattered by the loss and sharing details about the difference the young Kennedy has made during her short life.

Saoirse was passionately moved by the causes of human rights and women's empowerment and found great joy in volunteer work, working alongside indigenous communities to build schools in Mexico.

Her death is the latest in a series of tragedies in the Kennedy family. President John F. Kennedy and his brother, Senator Robert F. Kennedy, were both assassinated. David Kennedy, one of Ethel and Robert Kennedy's children, died in a Florida hotel after a drug overdose.

The couple's other son, Michael Kennedy, died in 1997 during a ski accident in Colorado on New Year's Eve. And 2 decades ago a small plane crash killed John F. Kennedy Jr., his wife, Carolyn Kennedy and his sister in law --

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-- Lauren Bessette. As for Saoirse Kennedy, her death remains under investigation according to the police -- Rosa Flores, CNN, Atlanta.

ALLEN: CNN NEWSROOM will continue after this.

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ALLEN: A handful of Republicans are making the party's chances of regaining control of the U.S. House a bit more difficult. This year eight Republican House members have announced their retirement ahead of the 2020 election, six of them have come just in the last two weeks.

The latest, representative Will Hurd of Texas, announced Thursday he will not seek reelection, while some of those districts are reliably Republican and, some like Mr. Hurd's are not, CNN takes a look.

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PHIL MATTINGLY, CNN U.S. CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Ask Republican officials about the future of the party in recent years and one name would inevitably come up: Texas congressman Will Hurd.

CHARLIE DENT, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: I tell you, if the Republicans have any hope at all of picking up some seats in this 2020 election, they are going in need people like Will Hurd.

MATTINGLY (voice-over): Forty-one years old, former undercover CIA officer, winner of hard-fought races in a majority Latino Texas border district trending towards Democrats, the lone black house Republican, who repeatedly made the case that his party, which has grown wider, older, more male, needed to expand its reach.

REP. WILL HURD (R-TX): My goal and what I'm trying to do is to make sure that when folks look at me, they're not, hey, you are the outlier.

MATTINGLY (voice-over): It is a position Hurd, one of the few Republicans who would regularly vote and speak out against President Trump, embraced.

HURD: What I like to say that, I'm the face of the future Republican Party.

MATTINGLY (voice-over): But one he'll no longer pursue from elected office. Hurd said Thursday night he will not seek reelection, along with --

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MATTINGLY (voice-over): -- seven of his colleagues so far this year, including two of the conference's only 13 members, a gut punch, one senior House GOP lawmaker told CNN of Hurd's decision yet one made at a time when Trump is the singular dominant force in the party.

TRUMP: I made the call economy so strong, nothing is going to stop us.

MATTINGLY (voice-over): Boasting about a 90 percent party approval rating, a divisive and at times racist political attack strategy that Hurd made clear served only to set back efforts to broaden the party's reach.

HURD: I think those tweets are racist and xenophobic, they're also inaccurate, I go into communities that most Republicans don't show up in order to take a conservative message and when you have this being the debate, that activity becomes even harder.

MATTINGLY (voice-over): GOP officials know retirements are part of every election cycle and point to a concerted recruiting effort particularly among women candidates as they look to retake the House in 2020.

Asked if the current atmosphere would lead to more retirements, House Republican leader Kevin McCarthy, a close ally of Hurd's, said this.

REP. KEVIN MCCARTHY (R), MINORITY LEADER: I think the reason people retire is it is their own personal decision in a time and place where they are.

MATTINGLY: From a near-term political perspective, Democrats are almost giddy, saying that this is a clear pickup opportunity for their current majority, Republicans on the other hand said they will fight tooth and nail to keep this seat in Republican hands. The longer term perspective it is worth pointing out Hurd is not leaving the party, in fact he's doing the exact opposite. He said he will remain in politics, in the party, even if he is not going to be in elected office, he says in his time outside of office, he will work to grow the Republican Party so that it looks more like America -- Phil Mattingly, CNN, Capitol Hill.

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ALLEN: Thousands of people who live in a picturesque town in England have been forced to get out, that is because a flood damaged dam there is in danger of collapsing, we will have that story after this.

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ALLEN: A dam is on the brink of collapse in England. It is threatening to submerge an entire town. Thousands have been forced to get out. Prime minister Boris Johnson flew over the area, calling it dodgy but stable, here is CNN's Isa Soares.

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ISA SOARES, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): In a scenic part of central England, the town of Whaley Bridge in Derbyshire north of London, is hoping for a miracle. The walls of a dam containing the Toddbrook Reservoir are partly damaged with the threat of more than 1 million tons of water breaching that wall and flooding the town.

A Royal Air Force Chinook is in a race against the clock, dropping 400 tons of sand and gravel to shore up the wall.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We are being asked to get a real position drop, we have to get as low as we can, like a big Lego block that we are building for the foundation.

SOARES (voice-over): As for the bridge, now it is a ghost town, on Thursday Derbyshire police ordered a massive evacuation of residents due to the significant threat to life.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There's nothing worse that could happen really, being told by the police to get out of the shop. So this happened and I came back to get as much as they can and go.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There might be a slow evacuation, get some stuff ready to leave. I can't say I'm happy.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The main thing is they need to get rid of the water at the dam but it's coming in faster than they can release it, So I don't see what they're going to do.

SOARES (voice-over): Engineers are pumping out water due to reduce pressure on the dam, authorities have told residents to be prepared and be away from their homes for a number of days. Any more rain could delay a return home for the people of Whaley Bridge -- Isa Soares, CNN.

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ALLEN: Well, climate change is causing the ice to melt in Greenland in alarming amounts, scientists say that Greenland's ice sheet has experienced its biggest melt of the summer, losing 11 billion tons of surface ice to the ocean. That is equivalent to more than 4 million Olympic swimming pools, all gone in one day.

Experts say because of recent heat waves in Europe and around the world, July was possibly the hottest month in recorded history. Greenland's ice sheet is the second largest in the world and this season's ice melt has already raised global sea labels half a millimeter.

Well, more before we go, NASA has discovered a nearby super Earth that might support life. The U.S. space agency was looking for planets outside of our solar system and it found three of them orbiting a dwarf star about 31 light years away.

Researchers say that one planet is within the star's zone to be habitable and gets about the same amount of solar energy from its star as Mars gets from our sun. Scientists believe that if the atmosphere is dense enough it could trap heat to warm the planet and allow for water and life on the surface.

We will leave you to ponder that one, thank you for watching, I'm Natalie Allen, the news continues with George Howell next.

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