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Children Left Without Parents After Immigration Raids; Trump Unhappy with Media Coverage of His El Paso and Dayton Visits; Russia's Vladimir Putin Marks 20 Years in Power; U.N. Report Sounds Urgent Alarm About Land Use; A Political Excuse for Not Going to the Gym. Aired 12-1a ET

Aired August 9, 2019 - 00:00   ET



[00:00:29] UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: My dad didn't do nothing. He's not a criminal.


JOHN VAUSE, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: One of the biggest workplace stings in U.S. history targets hundreds of undocumented immigrants working in Mississippi. Hundreds of moms and dads rounded up and bust away, leaving their terrified, screaming children behind.

Hospital patients being treated after the massive shootings in El Paso, Texas, declined to meet with the U.S. president. Apparently none were interested in the crowd size of his last political rally there back in February.

Plus Putin in power. How the KGB spy became the hardline leader of Russia.

Hello, and welcome to our viewers joining us from all over the world. Great to have you with us. I'm John Vause. This is CNN NEWSROOM.

First the number, 680, forcibly taken from their jobs at a massive government sweep on suspicion they were in the United States illegally. Federal officials caught up a record-setting operation one that relied on undercover informants to identify the suspects. 680. 680 moms and dads interrogated in their homes, in their communities where they raise families, where they go to church, where they made a life. The raids on the first day of school for their children leaving community leaders beyond outrage.


NSOMBI LAMBRIGHT, NAACP MISSISSIPPI: Very sad day in Mississippi. We're embarrassed by it, we're ashamed about what our state is doing. But we're here to let everyone know around the world that we are going to fight back and we're going to make sure that these families are supported.

(END VIDEO CLIP) VAUSE: Authorities say more than half of those rounded up, 377, remain in custody. Police or not, all of them are scared and don't know what will happen next. The stability they once knew is gone. Their traumatized children now caught in the middle.

CNN's Diane Gallagher begins our coverage.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Please, can I just see my mother? Please.

DELIA GALLAGHER, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Parents taken away on buses, separated from their children.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Her mom is the only one she has. That's her guardian.

GALLAGHER: In immigration raids across Mississippi on Wednesday.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I need my dad. My dad didn't do anything, he's not a criminal.

GALLAGHER: Many children left behind in schools and day cares. One gym in a nearby town offering to house and feed children who were separated from their parents.

JORDAN BARNES, CLEAR CREEK BOOT CAMP OWNER: I understand the law and how everything works but --and everything has a system but everybody needs to hold the kids first and foremost in their minds.

GALLAGHER: Today anxious family members are trying to locate their loved ones who were arrested.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: There is a Web site that we were told that we could find anyone that's been processed and detained. I haven't found a single person.

GALLAGHER: One woman telling CNN, her husband who has a heart condition was arrested leaving her and her their 5-year-old son with no one to help them.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): He asked me for his dad, where he is, and I tell him he's not here. I told him they took him and he starts to cry because he needs him.

GALLAGHER: A total of 680 detentions at seven food processing plants across six cities in Mississippi. Officials calling it the largest single state immigration enforcement operation ever in the U.S.

MIKE HURST, U.S. ATTORNEY SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF MISSISSIPPI: While we are a nation of immigrants, more than that we are first and foremost a nation of laws.

GALLAGHER: The raids on the heels of the El Paso shooting where Latinos were purposely targeted also came on the first day of school for those children. An ICE official telling CNN they did consider the impact of children and worked with school administrators, adding, quote, "This was planned for months. Well before El Paso. We did this under past presidents. This is business as usual for us."

Some detainees were released overnight with ankle monitors like this. As White House officials tell CNN ICE is scrambling to reunite some parents with their children because of childcare issues, many of whom were placed with volunteers and strangers.


VAUSE: And that's the invasion the U.S. president talks about. A foreign invasion that's sinister, it was planned 15 years ago. That's how long some of those arrest had been quietly buying their time, working menial jobs for minimum wage or less. An invasion of moms and dad so deceptive they spent years living here, breaking no law, filling jobs most real Americans refused to do. And just like the Soviet spies during the Cold War, these foreign agents had children, raised families, behaved part of the community, which blissfully unaware of their original crime -- crossing a border without the right documentation. A crime so insidious it required the largest workplace sting in U.S. history.

[00:005:01] Raul Reyes is a CNN opinion writer and lawyer and he's with us now from New York.

Raul, thanks for coming in.


VAUSE: OK. I want you to listen to the mayor of Jackson, Mississippi, speaking about the ICE raids. He was talking to our affiliate WJTV.


MAYOR CHOKWE ANTAR LUMUMBA, JACKSON, MISSISSIPPI: It is a gross display of humanity to me as a parent. As a father of two young girls, to imagine children arriving after their first day of school to a condition where their parents are gone from their lives, I think that we truly have to question where the soul of our nation is at this point in time.


VAUSE: And here's the point. These raids were carried out by agents from Immigration and Customs Enforcement on the direction of the Trump administration. But they are done in the name of and behalf of the American people. So ultimately this country knows it isn't right, they own the screaming the children, the kids in cages, they may not like it, they may disagree with it, but they are every bit of the cruelty.

REYES: Sad to say I agree with you. And the thing is, the cruelty that we're seeing with these ICE raids is twofold. Number one, it reflects an incredible insensitivity on behalf of the Trump administration because Latino in the United States are feeling very under attack and targeted this week in the wake of the mass shooting in El Paso.

Now granted maybe the president could have allowed these raids to go forward, at his word they could have stood down. But the fact that he pressed ahead with them when so many Latinos have been traumatized by violence already this week is really quite shocking.

And secondly, this reminds me of we saw last year that really shocked the entire nation which was the very ugly spectacle of family separations. I mean, it's hard to find anyone who will defend that when you are literally tearing moms and dads away from their children and now we're seeing some of those same -- very disturbing and upsetting images again in a way that in my view really transcends. It just comes down to a matter of who were as a nation and how optics and the matter of we are as a nation and how we view our fellow, you know, citizens and residents in his country.

VAUSE: And let's be clear about exactly who is rounded up and taken away here. I want you to listen to Luis Espinosa from the Mississippi Immigrant Rights Alliance. Here he is.


LUIS ESPINOSA, MISSISSIPPI IMMIGRANT RIGHTS ALLIANCE: I don't see illegals. I don't see bad people. It's only families and fathers, mothers who want something better for the kids so they come here and just work. They are not criminals.


VAUSE: Surely there has to be more pressing cases for 600 plus ICE agents who were deployed on these raids? If these moms and dads are the biggest threats facing this country from illegal immigration then this country does not have a big problem.

REYES: Right. Exactly. And consider this, you know, DHS and ICE both have -- together they have a finite amount of resources. Limited amount of money to spend, and they're choosing to spend national security money on going after, you know, families. And it really makes no sense when you think of, number one, the cost of a single deportation, that is removing someone from the country, it costs about $10,000 for one person. And these people who will be detained are sent into a detention system that even the U.S. government says right now is bursting at the seams and is wildly overcrowded and at capacity.

And for those people, these migrants who are detained by the government choose to pursue some type of case, they will go through an immigration system that has backlogs of up to five years. So we're looking at this incredible waste of resources, waste of money and it doesn't really seem to generate any positive outcomes for the country because I would ask people, do you feel any safer knowing that people in Mississippi who are just living their lives and working are now locked up? How does that make our country better in any way?

VAUSE: Also noteworthy, who was not arrested. Maybe legal action is pending, I don't know. But at this point the owners of the businesses where these undocumented immigrants have worked, they've not been charged. The managers who did the hiring, they've not been charged. Do you know anything difference to that?

REYES: Right. And you know what, that actually is not a surprise at all because typically a workplace raid we see, you know, large amounts of regular folks being taken in and arrested but the employers are very rarely arrested or charged. Last -- in the year that ended March this year, those past 12 months, there were only 11 employers of undocumented people, of unauthorized migrants. There were only 11 in the entire nation who faced any criminal charges. And of that 11, only three ever saw any jail time.

So it seems quite absurd that we're going after the lowest level of people in this if you want to look at this type of unauthorized workers as some type of threat when we could be going after employers. And speaking of our own president, Donald Trump, and his own organization has a long history of hiring undocumented workers. They're very well-documented in outlets like the "New York Times," "Washington Post." He has used unauthorized documents at his golf clubs and his resorts, in his hotels in D.C. So this is a problem that even our president has participated in.

[00:10:04] So it's just hard to see -- hard not to see hypocrisy on behalf of the president and this administration in going after people who are just trying to better their lives and take care their families.

VAUSE: So putting aside, whether you agree or disagree with that, right, I mean, clear that to one side, just look at the logistics of the planning. You touched on this. It seems to be a complete and total failure to take (INAUDIBLE) of hundreds of children. I mean, Democrat presidential hopeful Pete Buttigieg who tweeted this. "Neighbors are helping children as if they've been in natural disaster. But this is a policy disaster. It's a disaster of choice including the choice to harm these innocent children. Our nation will be judged for this. Time for a better way."

In cases like this, you know, it's usually assumed the sort of cruelty we see is a result of incompetence, someone screwed up somewhere. Time and time again it's being revealed that this administration the cruelty is the point. It's not a mistake. It's policy. Is that what happened here?

REYES: Sad to say, you know, I agree with that. And honestly, it brings me no pleasure saying that but we know from the family separations that went on last year, this administration showed so little regard for what was going to happen to these children who are completely innocent. Whatever your view is about immigration, illegal immigration, or authorized workers, these children had no say in being brought to this country.

Many of these children are U.S. citizens. So it represents just a colossal failure of management and more than that, just a colossal failure of American values in terms of how we treat children, how we treat the most vulnerable members of our society, and how -- what type of images and what type of values we present to the world. And there is a reason why these raids and family separations are so

disturbing to Americans because most people in this country like to think that we are better than that. And yet as you said this is a reality. This is 2019. These are pictures and images that the world is seeing.

VAUSE: And ICE released a statement saying the raids had been planned for months which means that it was just a coincidence it happened on the same day the president was in El Paso, Texas, you know, a city where Latinos were targeted and shut dead allegedly by a white nationalist. The fact that the White House either did not care or was just unaware of how bad the timing was, seems to speak volumes in and of itself.

REYES: Exactly. The fact that the White House did not care about the timing of these raids really shows such a lack of compassion and sensitivity for Hispanics in the United States. And it might well be true that these raids had been planned for months and months. And if so that begs the question of that, doesn't ICE and DHS, don't they have more productive targets to go after such as cartel members or traffickers or violent criminals? They have spent months and months allegedly just pursuing men and women who are simply working down in Mississippi. That really seems like misplaced priorities and values.

VAUSE: Yes. To think jobs that Americans don't want to do, it's just -- actually it's interesting. I mean, it's amazing.

Raul, thank you. Appreciate you being with us.

REYES: My pleasure. Thank you.

VAUSE: Well, despite the fact he'd grown up in Detroit, spent all 41 years of his life there, he was actually born in Greece, Jimmy Aldaoud was forcibly sent to Iraq by U.S. immigration officials, a country he never visited. Aldaoud was deported early June. He doesn't speak Arabi. He is not Muslim. In fact he was born in a refugee camp in Greece. His Iraqi parents immigrated legally to the United States when he just a baby.

And all that 41 years in Detroit, he actually did in fact never become a naturalized citizen. He did have a criminal record, 20 convictions in all, which his lawyer blames on mental health issues. He also needed insulin for diabetes. Now this video was taken soon after he arrived in Iraq.


JIMMY ALDAOUD, DEPORTED TO IRAQ: They wouldn't let me call my family, nothing. They just said you go to Iraq and you better cooperate to cooperate with us, that way we're not going to chain you up or put you on a commercial flight. I begged them, I said, please, I've never seen that country, I've never been there. However, they forced me. I'm here now and I don't understand the language, anything. I've been sleeping on the street. I'm diabetic. I need insulin shots. I've been throwing up, throwing up.


VAUSE: Now the attorney spoke earlier with CNN's Hala Gorani about the other circumstances that actually may have contributed to Jimmy Aldaoud's death.


EDWARD BAJOKA, ATTORNEY FOR JIMMY ALDAOUD: They sent him to a town in the south of Iraq called Najaf.


BAJOKA: And Mr. Jimmy Aldaoud, being a Chaldean Christian, already a member of a vulnerable ethnic minority in that country, was sent to a city where there are absolutely no Chaldean Catholics.


BAJOKA: There's no presence there. For anyone in that community and its arguably the most dangerous place that they could have possibly sent him. He was simply unable to obtain the medication that he needed for his diabetes. He's a type one diabetics and as everyone knows, they need regular treatments and they need insulin and he was unable to obtain that. In fact he told his sister he was even afraid to go to the hospital because he wasn't sure --


BAJOKA: -- what would happen to him, given the fact that he was clearly American and didn't speak any Arabic.


[00:15:08] VAUSE: So basically the bottom line is that by sending Aldaoud to a country he'd never been to, never spoke the language, suffering from a need for -- diabetes, for insulin they sent him to his death.

It hasn't even been a week now since 31 people were killed in mass shootings in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio, and already President Trump is apparently more concerned with the media coverage with his handling of the crisis than he is with addressing the growing calls for gun control.

CNN's Kaitlan Collins reports now from the White House.


KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Some of President Trump's own aides are conceding his visits to two cities in mourning didn't go as planned after new video shows him bragging about crowd sizes while at a hospital in El Paso.

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We met with also the doctors and nurses, the medical staff. COLLINS: The White House stopped reporters and their cameras from

capturing the president's visit, but new cell phone video shows Trump praising medical staff before turning the conversation to himself.

TRUMP: I was here three months ago. We made a speech and we had -- and what was the name of the arena? That place was --


TRUMP: Right? Right. The judge is a respected --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I was front row.

TRUMP: What was the name?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I was front row.


TRUMP: Good. Come here, man. That was some crowd.

M. TRUMP: Thank you for all that you do. Thank you.

TRUMP: And we had twice the number outside. And then you had this crazy Beto. Beto had like 400 people in a parking lot. They said his crowd was wonderful.

COLLINS: The president bragging about how many people attended his February rally where he boasted of booting undocumented immigrants from the country.

TRUMP: They go in to our country. The good news is we have great law enforcement and many of these people, we know where they are, and we're going to get them the hell out.

COLLINS: The president still owes the city of El Paso over $500,000 in unpaid fees for police use and public safety costs for that trip. CNN has learned that Trump lashed out at his staff for keeping the cameras away during his visits to two hospitals, complaining he wasn't getting enough credit, though aides said it was out of respect for the patients.

None of those eight patients at the Texas hospital Trump visited agreed to meet with him, CNN has confirmed, while two who had been discharged did return for his visit.

The president's trip now being followed about new questions on what's next for gun control. Trump has told aides and lawmakers he's open to endorsing extensive background checks.

TRUMP: I think background checks are important. I don't want to put guns into the hands of mentally unstable people.

COLLINS: It's a position he's taken before, but never followed through on. TRUMP: We're going to be very strong on background checks. We're

going to be doing very strong background checks. We certainly have to strengthen background checks. Everybody agrees with that. We're really, I think, going to have the support of the NRA having to do with background checks, very strong background checks.

COLLINS: New reporting might explain why.

TRUMP: There's no bigger fan of the Second Amendment than me and there's no bigger fan of the NRA.

COLLINS: CNN has learned the president has spoken with NRA chief Wayne LaPierre several times in recent days. And LaPierre warned Trump his supporters in deep red areas don't want expanded background checks.

The NRA spent more than $30 million to get Trump elected in 2016, according to financial records, and has swayed him on gun control in the past.

TRUMP: They're very close to me. I'm very close to them.

COLLINS: And despite demands, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell says he won't bring senators back to Washington during their August recess.

SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL (R-KY): If we did that, we'd just have people scoring points and nothing would happen.

COLLINS (on camera): Now sources tell CNN that the president continued to fume about the coverage that those trips to El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio, were receiving as he was in his flight back to Washington. Some of that he is blaming in part on aides, but also arguing that enough people were not defending him, and instead, his critics were getting all of the air time. Now that comes as the president is continuing to have conversations with Republican lawmakers and NRA officials as those growing calls from Democrats and some of the president's critics for more restrictive gun measures continue.

Kaitlan Collins, CNN, the White House.


VAUSE: The U.S. president wanted a political loyalist as the next director of National Intelligence, and it looks like he found him. Joseph Maguire has been leading the National Counterterrorism Center, but come August 15th he will become the acting director of National Intelligence. The announcement came just a few hours after the deputy DNI, Sue Gordon, resigned. Under normal circumstances she would've been named acting director. The president has been at odds with the intelligence community repeatedly on election interference, North Korea, and Iran, a whole of other stuff.

Well, from the KGB to president to prime minister to president again, Vladimir Putin marks 20 20 years of leadership in Russia. A look at its worldwide impact. That's next.


[00:22:43] VAUSE: A big day for one of the most powerful and polarizing figures in the world. 20 years ago today, Vladimir Putin came to power in Russia. August 9th, 1999, President Boris Yeltsin appointed the little-known KGB spy and politician as the nation's prime minister. He held the post for just a few months before ascending to the presidency, and since then, President Putin has gone on to not only dominate Russian politics but also insert himself on the global stage.

CNN's Fred Pleitgen reports now from Moscow.


FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice- over): A final goodbye from the embattled and fatigued Boris Yeltsin. His successor, Vladimir Putin, designated by Yeltsin on August 9th, 1999, immediately laid out his ambitious plans.

VLADIMIR PUTIN, RUSSIAN PRESIDENT (through translator): I've always said and will continue to say that the Russian state must be strong.

PLEITGEN: But Putin's presidency got off to a rocky start. He was heavily criticized for his handling of the sinking of the Kursk nuclear submarine in 2000, which killed all those on board. Putin didn't immediately return from his holiday to manage the crisis. He escalated the brutal war in Chechnya, eventually crushing the breakaway republic's rebellion at an immense human and material cost. And Putin cracked down on terrorism.

PUTIN (through translator): We'll whack them in the outhouse.

PLEITGEN: More than 330 hostages were killed when Moscow's special forces raided a school taken hostage by extremists in Beslan, southern Russia in 2004. Meanwhile, Russia's economy and overall stability started improving, thanks in part to high international oil prices, boosting the president's popularity. After finishing two terms, Putin had reached the limit under Russia's constitution. His solution? He swapped jobs with his prime minister, Dmitry Medvedev, for four years. Medvedev then changed the constitution, extending the terms from four years to six before Putin's return to the presidency.

Vladimir Putin was re-elected to his third term as president in 2012. But not all Russians were happy. Massive protests engulfed the streets of Moscow. Russian authorities crushing the opposition movement despite international condemnation.

[00:25:03] Vladimir Putin's second stint as president has been defined by confrontation with the West. In 2014, after an uprising unseated the pro-Russia leader of Ukraine, the Kremlin invaded Crimea, later annexing the peninsula. Russia is also accused of fueling and aiding the uprising in eastern Ukraine, which has led to thousands of deaths. And the downing of a commercial airliner, killing everyone on board. International investigators blame a missile fired from a Russian military equipment for the tragedy. The Kremlin has remained defiant.

PUTIN (through translator): We think there is no proof. Everything that was presented shows nothing. We have our own version. But unfortunately, nobody wants to listen to us.

PLEITGEN: Russian forces are supporting Syrian president Bashar al- Assad against a rebellion in the Middle Eastern nation. Western countries saying Russia's heavy bombardment and frequent targeting of civilian areas amount to war crimes.

And Putin's Russia is accused of directly meddling in Western nations' affairs, including a broad effort aimed at swaying the U.S. presidential election in 2016 in favor of now President Donald Trump. Putin denying he meddled but acknowledging he wanted Donald Trump to win.

PUTIN (through translator): Because he was talking about normalizing U.S.-Russia relations.

PLEITGEN: But normalizing relations seemed out of the question after Britain accused Russia of using chemical weapons to poison former double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter in 2018. Russia, once again, dismissing the evidence.

Twenty years after taking power, Vladimir Putin maintains a strong grip on the presidency, having largely marginalized Russia's opposition. But international sanctions and isolation, along with a weak economy, have sent his popularity into a nosedive, as some Russians have grown wary of their longstanding leader.

Fred Pleitgen, CNN, Moscow.


VAUSE: Well, parts of Japan have been hammered by a powerful storm, many others are now bracing for impact. We will have the latest forecast just ahead.

Also, we are eating our planet to death. The dire warning from global scientists, that's also coming up.


VAUSE: Welcome back, everybody. I'm John Vause with an update on our top news this hour.

Nearly 700 people were more forcibly removed from their jobs in Mississippi on suspicion they were in the United States illegally.

[00:30:03] These raids happened Wednesday, the first day of school, and many young children were there traumatized discovering their parents were gone. Of the 680 people rounded up authorities say almost 400 remained in custody.

A senior administration official concedes President Trump is not happy with the media coverage of his meetings with those affected by the mass shootings over the last weekend in El Paso, Texas. None of the survivors wanted to meet with the president so two patients already released were brought back into the hospital.

Pakistan's military is warning of a strong response to any Indian military action into the disputed Kashmir region. It comes after India's military blamed Pakistan for unrest. Earlier this week the Indian government stripped Indian controlled Kashmir of its special autonomous status.

China has issued a red typhoon alert for powerful storm which is churning towards eastern coast. Typhoon Lekima already battering the chain of islands in Southern Japan. Four people were hurt, power was knocked out to thousands of people. At one point it strengthened to a super typhoon as it passed through the area. It has since weakened just a little. Still, though, it is threatening to hammer China in the coming hours.

Let's go to Derek Van Dam when we show that hammering, he knows all about. What's happening with -- how bad is this going to get? What's the forecast?

DEREK VAN DAM, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Well, here's the good news that Taiwan will be spread the worst of this storm but the bad news, as you've mentioned, John, we're only hours away from this impacting mainland China in a very populated area. And we'll get to that in just one moment.

Here's a look at the latest satellite imagery and I have to show you something incredible. Not only have we clocked in winds of nearly 170 kilometers per hour but this storm did an unusual twist and turn within the past six hours. Look at this little island here. You can see it right in the center of the map. That is the (INAUDIBLE) islands in the Ryukyu Island chain in the Okinawa prefecture in Southern Japan. This storm actually circumnavigated around the island nearly missing it and actually sparing a direct hit, that only calls home to about 1200 people but those people were spared the worst of the storm, fortunately.

So it went in between those two-island areas and it is again has a bee line towards the east coast of China. We're looking out for the Wenzhou region, 215 kilometer per hour sustained winds. This makes it a category four equivalent hurricane. Now this storm system is expected to make landfall early Saturday morning local time. It will bring winds to the east coast of China in excess of 150 kilometers per hour.

Quickly the winds will start to die down. It be gusty along the east coast but I want to show you the population density that this storm will impact over the coming weekend. We're talking about several million people in the Wenzhou region but as you look towards Shanghai, the biggest city in China 's economy, 26 million people called his home and that is in the path of this particular storm over the course of the weekend.

Still very gusty winds there but what we're concerned about for the greater Shanghai region will be the excessive rainfall that could total over 200 millimeters in some locations especially just west of the city center. You can see some of those rainfall totals according to our computer models. Again just touching about 200 millimeters.

And this is not the only storm we're tracking across the Pacific. We've got Typhoon Krosa. That's still several days away from impacting land. That will reach Southern Japan into the middle parts of next week so the western Pacific started off very quiet this season, John. It is picking up and starting to make good on a very quiet start to the typhoon season.

VAUSE: Always be careful and wary of a quiet start. It always means something that's going to come, I guess.

Derek thank you.

The bottom line from a new U.N. report is this, we need to change what and how we eat or climate change will accelerate to the point that we will all die. U.N.'s climate change panel says eating less meat and reducing food waste would reduce carbon emissions and spared more land for nature. Some experts are even advocating for a largely vegetarian planet. According to this U.N. report agriculture and food production are major contributors to global warming. Food waste produces between 8 percent and 10 percent of all global emissions. Livestock produces nearly 15 percent. That's mostly because raising animals for food is resource intensive.

As CNN's Bill Weir reports, farmers are already feeling the impact of the climate crisis.


JUSTIN JORDAN, FARMER: We have a very, very wet spring and --

BILL WEIR, CNN CHIEF CLIMATE CORRESPONDENT (on camera): Too much rain to plant.

JORDAN: Too much rain to plant.

WEIR: Yes.

(Voice-over): Justin Jordan is among the millions of American farmers living on an emotional rollercoaster that only seems to go down.

JORDAN: So this corn is almost two feet shorter than it normally is.

WEIR: Thanks to a bizzaro spring he's looking at a 30 percent drop in yield.

JORDAN: It's kind of feeling of helplessness and stress is what it kind of feels like.

WEIR (on camera): Yes.

JORDAN: So -- but you just do what you can with what you have to work with. WEIR (voice over): At least he has a crop. Too many farmers lost

everything to epic floods and even the lucky ones are losing sleep over fear of an early frost, and trade wars, and the highest farm debt in a generation.

[00:35:08] And on top of it all comes the latest alarming report from the IPCC, which finds that growing food from India to Iowa will only get harder as the climate gets harsher.

DR. EUGENE TAKLE, IOW STATE DEPARTMENT OF AGRONOMY: We're going to see by mid-century, by current projections, that our number of days above 90 degrees is going to rise from about 17 days per year above 90 degrees in De Moines. That will be up more like 50 to 70.

WEIR: The report finds that about three quarters of the earth's ice- free surface has been paved, plowed or deforested. Great for economies, horrible for nature's cycles. And with all the diesel and fertilizer used to grow the modern meal, they say agriculture is to blame for nearly a quarter of greenhouse gas emissions.

WEIR (on camera): But here's the good news. Right now every corn plant in this field is pulling carbon out of the sky and pulling it in the ground. And with the right amount of innovation and financial motivation, a smart farmer can leave it there and still feed the world. Iowa could be one giant carbon sink. And unlike miners and drillers and frackers, they don't have to change careers in order to help save life as we know it.

JORDAN: Just listen to all the birds, too. Something you don't hear when you walk out in a cornfield. I mean there's just so much more, like I said, not only the plant biodiversity, but the wildlife diversity.

WEIR (on camera): Life. Life.

JORDAN: Exactly. Exactly.

WEIR (voice over): Justin takes advantage of a federal program that pays him to let part of his fields go wild, which brings higher yields in the long term. Over in Nebraska, Brandon Hunnicutt (PH) is trying out cutting edge science funded by Bill Gates that uses bacteria instead of synthetic fertilizer, the stuff that creates ocean dead zones and red tides.

ERNIE SANDERS, PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT PIVOT BIO: That's all a petroleum- based kind of products industry that we live in. And the more we can move to a more natural bacteria bases, I think that's better for all of us.

WEIR: And even some conservatives like Ray Gaesser are joining this green revolution, even though the Republican refuses to blame a warming planet entirely on human habits.

(On camera): So how do you feel about big members of your party, even the president, casting doubt and skepticism into whether or not humans can even help stop this? RAY GAESSER, IOWA FARMER: Well, I think it's more about not having

severe regulations, you know. I think a one-size-fits-all regulation really does not fit agriculture anyway.

WEIR (voice over): But like many Republican neighbors, he still embraces wind energy, cover crops and soil conservation.

GAESSER: Well, as we farm a little bit differently, as we sequester nutrients and carbon, you know, we're all -- you know, we're doing the right thing, you know?

WEIR (on camera): Yes.

GAESSER: And that's what it's about is trying to do the right thing. We all want to do that.

WEIR: Absolutely.

GAESSER: And it shouldn't be political.

WEIR: Amen, brother.


VAUSE: Bill Weir reporting there.

Time for a short break. When we come back, some luxury gym membership calling it quit. The way you break a sweat, it's not a political act but maybe it is. We'll explain after the break.


[00:40:19] VAUSE: When it comes to burning for your money, right now a few better than Uber. Just months after its public offering, the ride sharing company reported a staggering $5.2 billion loss in the second quarter. The cost of the IPO partly to blame but earnings are mostly flat. Uber's CEO insists the company's future is bright, pointing to new investments like its Uber Eats, the meal delivery service.

Breaking up is often hard to do, unless it's with your spin class. Some fitness buffs are calling it off with their luxury gym. They say breaking a sweat there has suddenly become a political statement.

Jeanne Moos explains why.


JEANNE MOOS, CNN SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Everybody out of the pool. OK, not everybody, just the ones who say they're boycotting Equinox and SoulCycle. It can be so wrenching.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The gym is like a second home to many of us.

MOOS: But because Stephen Ross, the man whose company owns Equinox and SoulCycle, is throwing a fundraiser for President Trump, a boycott has some trying to decide how to break up with their gym.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: But I'm really bummed.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm not going to quit.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm leaving the club.

MOOS: Leaving it with an upraised finger or a new name, "Equinot." Celebrities led the exit. Chrissy Teigen tweeted, "Rough day at Equinox." Posting the autoreply her friend got when he canceled his membership. "At the moment, we are experiencing extremely high volumes of e-mails."

We're not sure if Michael Moore was serious. "That's it. Just canceled my SoulCycle membership." This conservative didn't buy it. "Yeah, because we know you're a regular on the front row at SoulCycle." Andy Cohen equivocated about Equinox.

ANDY COHEN, CELEBRITY TV HOST: I still have time left on my membership. I'll probably be there doing cardio today. I don't know.

MOOS: No equivocation from comedian Billy Eichner, "Hey, Equinox, what's your policy for cancelling memberships? Once a member finds out your owner is enabling racism and mass murder?"

(On camera): But one person's boycott is another person's opportunity to slack off.

(Voice-over): "Thank you, God, for giving me another excuse not to go to the gym." "See these muffin tops? They're political." This Equinox member seemed prepared to sacrifice his feet.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'd rather have plantar fasciitis without treatment than having to support in any way anything affiliated with Trump supporters.

MOOS: As for that Equinox pool in the sky, someone tweeted, "Nice pool. Too bad about all the blood in it." And all those slogans, "SoulCycle Spin."

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Find your happy place.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Find your soul.

MOOS: Find the door is the line boycotters are peddling.

Jeanne Moos, CNN, New York.


VAUSE: Thank you for watching CNN NEWSROOM. I'm John Vause. Please stay with us. "WORLD SPORT" is up next. You're watching CNN.


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