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NEW DAY SATURDAY
President Trump Confident on Background Checks; North Korea Launches More Missiles; Dem Candidates Label Trump White Supremacist; Latest on Jeffrey Epstein Case; More El Paso Shooter Information; A Look at Gun Laws Around the World; Hong Kong Protests Continue; Putin's 20 Years in Power Examined. Aired 6-7a ET
Aired August 10, 2019 - 06:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We need intelligent background checks. This isn't a question of NRA, republican or democrat.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: President Trump is sounding upbeat about the prospects for new legislation to address gun violence but we've heard talk like that before.
SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL, (R) KENTUCKY: The key to this, honestly, is making a law and not making a point.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Officials say North Korea has launched two projectiles into the sea. This is the fifth time that North Korea has fired salvos of these short range ballistic missiles in about two and a half weeks.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The North Koreans are pretty upset. I mean this is normally how the North Koreans express themselves.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Donald Trump is encouraging white supremacy. There's a distinction without much of a difference.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: President Trump firing back at the growing number of 2020 democrats accusing him of being a white supremacist.
TRUMP: I think it's a disgrace and I think it shows how desperate the democrats are.
CHRISTI PAUL, CNN HOST: Well, good morning to you. Thank you so much for spending your time with us here on a Saturday. I'm Christi Paul.
MARTIN SAVIDGE, CNN HOST: And I'm Martin Savidge in for Victor Blackwell.
PAUL: So good to have you here.
PAUL: So we're hearing more details of allegations against Jeffrey Epstein. He pleaded not guilty, remember in July to an indictment that accuses him of sex trafficking dozens of under aged girls, some as young as 14. He is currently being held in a federal facility in Manhattan.
SAVIDGE: But in a separate case, hundreds of pages of court documents have just been unsealed detailing the defamation case of one of Epstein's accusers, at least what she has against Epstein's associates. The new allegation shares similarities to the claims in Epstein's criminal case. The names of the alleged victims in the case have not been made public. Polo Sandoval joins us now with the very latest on all of this. Good morning to you Polo.
POLO SANDOVAL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Martin, Christi, good morning to you. These documents that were unsealed just yesterday, they're a big win for accuser Virginia Giuffre who claimed she was approached by a woman named Ghislane Maxwell when she was 15 years old while working at Mar-A-Lago, recruited to give Epstein massages for money. That job she claims quickly turned into years of being a sex slave for Epstein. In court filings Maxwell's legal teams hit back of Giuffre's claims of abuse saying that Guiffre was excited about her job as a measure about traveling with Epstein and meeting with famous people and that Giuffre never mentioned Maxwell to her fiance or introduced Maxwell to her parents either.
Maxwell's attorneys also in court filings say Giuffre contacted police in 2002 for an unrelated crime but she never told the responding officer that, quote, "She was a sex slave." Giuffre later sued Maxwell for defamation but much of her case which was settled in 2017 was under seal and not -- none of the documents available to the public. These documents are essentially offering an insight here. The first time that we are getting to hear some of her claims. Giuffre may or may not be among the alleged victims in the criminal charges. It isn't known yet because the names of those alleged victims have not been made public.
Giuffre accuses Maxwell of recruiting her for massages that quickly turned into sexual encounters with both Epstein and Maxwell. She says there were even flight logs that show Giuffre was taken on dozens of flights by Epstein and Maxwell on the private jet that according to court documents was known as the Lolita Express. She also claims that she was sexually abused to the point of having to be taken to a hospital in New York by both Epstein and Maxwell and she says that medical records show she was just 17 when she was taken to the hospital.
Giuffre claims Epstein and Maxwell trafficked her to have sex with high-profile men including Prince Andrew. A Buckingham Palace spokesperson telling CNN, quote, "This relates to proceedings in the United States to which the Duke of York is not a party. Any suggestion of impropriety with under age minors is categorically untrue." There are other notable men she alleges she was taken to have sex with including former New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson. Photos of her at Epstein's ranch in New Mexico are part of the
documents that were also recently unsealed. Richardson's spokesperson calling these allegations, quote, "Completely false." The actual full statement here reading, "To be clear, in Governor Richardson's limited interactions with Mr. Epstein, he never saw him in the presence of a young or underage girl. Governor Richardson has never been to Mr. Epstein's residence in the Virginia islands. Governor Richardson has never met Ms. Giuffre."
She also alleges being take tone have sex with former Senator George Mitchell of Maine. His spokesperson calling these allegations also false and also says that he's never met Giuffre.
The full statement here reading, quote, "In my contacts with Mr. Epstein, I never observed or suspected any inappropriate contact with under-aged girls. I only learned of his actions when they were reported in the media related to his prosecution in Florida. We have had no further contact."
Finally another detail released in these documents which also shows an actual Amazon receipt for sexually explicit books that were sent to Epstein's Palm Beach home. Obviously this is a federal case. It's difficult to get cameras into any court setting, so we are essentially at the mercy of these documents that are coming out providing a clearer picture of some of those proceedings. Back to you.
PAUL: All right, Polo Sandoval, (inaudible) list of allegations. Thank you so much.
SAVIDGE: And we're following breaking news this morning. A show of force, that's what South Korea is calling North Korea's firing of two short range ballistic missiles into the sea early Saturday morning.
PAUL: The launch is North Korea's fifth in just a little over two weeks. And this is, of course, just hours after President Trump told reporters on the White House lawn that North Korea's Kim Jong-un was not happy with joint U.S./South Korea military exercises in that region. CNN's Ivan Watson live in Hong Kong for us with the very latest. What are you hearing about these missile launches? And good morning.
IVAN WATSON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: They seem to be taking place every couple of days. Good morning Christi and Martin. This is becoming a bit of a routine now. They were fired, according to the South Korean military, after 5:00 a.m. local time. And, as you mentioned, this is the fifth such salvo of short-range ballistic missiles in about two and a half weeks. Now the last time this took place, August 6, the North Koreans said -- they issued a statement saying they were very unhappy with the fact the U.S. and South Korea would be conducting annual joint military exercises which the South Koreans say should start tomorrow. And that is why the South Korean national defense ministers and security ministers say they anticipate more launches coming from North Korea in the near future as well. What's really striking about this is that the Trump Administration has
been downplaying the missile launches. Just a couple years ago President Trump used to slam Kim Jong-un calling him Little Rocket Man and instead now again and again goes on record saying, "Hey, these short-range ballistic missile launches don't bother me." In President Trump's mind as long as North Korea isn't carrying out nuclear weapons tests or intercontinental ballistic launches, it doesn't bother him. However, America's British ally, the United Kingdom, their foreign office has said these short-range ballistic missile launches are a violation of United Nations Security Council resolutions.
President Trump has said he just received on Friday a very beautiful -- another very beautiful letter from Kim Jong-un where the North Korean dictator said he was unhappy about the joint military exercises but, again, these launches don't seem to bother him. But here is one striking additional detail. President Trump and Kim Jong-un met face- to-face on the demilitarized zone a couple of months back. They were supposed to start working level negotiations. To the best of our knowledge that hasn't started yet as the North Koreans continue to show their displeasure. Martin, Christi?
PAUL: Wow, all right. Ivan Watson, thank you so much.
SAVIDGE: Joining me now is Errol Louis. He's a political anchor for "Spectrum News" to talk more about all of this. Good morning to you, Errol.
ERROL LOUIS, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Good morning, Martin.
SAVIDGE: How much of a problem is this for the administration, for President Trump?
LOUIS: Well, it's a big problem. It's a big problem for the White House and, frankly, a big problem for the United States. The president appears to have been outmaneuvered by the North Korean dictator into saying almost nothing while the tests proceed, and keep in mind, Martin, even if it's not an intercontinental ballistic missile, if it's not nuclear testing, we have 28,000 U.S. troops well within the range of the missiles that are being tested. As the Commander in Chief of the armed forces it is up to the president to keep those troops out of harm's way.
He has been subjected to the same kind of trickery that this dictator and his two predecessors have used against American presidents. They talk a good game. They do absolutely nothing. They continue to build a nuclear testing and missile program. And Trump thought he could maybe maneuver his way through it. He thought he could sort of use his personal skills. It does not appear to have worked.
SAVIDGE: There are some who would argue that -- and I'm talking about experts who follow North Korea -- downplaying the sort of missile temper tantrums on the part of North Korea are actually the best way to deal with this that otherwise in the past the United States which has sometimes taken indirect action against North Korea for these kind of launches, that doesn't work either.
So sort of ignoring it and keeping focused on trying to get negotiations established is the best path.
LOUIS: Well, look, your underlying point, Martin, is exactly right which is that there are no good choices here. This has bedeviled one administration after another. It is very difficult to sort of see a path forward especially if you have a "go it alone" attitude as this administration does. If you don't bring the Japanese by your side and have the South Koreans taking a lead role you don't have some kind of input from China to try and figure out this puzzle, you are in a much worse position. There's a chance there is some kind of choreographed path through this because, of course, there are military exercises, joint military exercises with the U.S. and South Korea planned for just a few weeks from now.
If they go through their exercises and North Korea shoots off a few missiles into the Sea of Japan, and then they get back to negotiating, that would be a lovely outcome. The problem of course is that there are too many opportunities for something to go wrong, for a missile to go astray, for some of this brakesmanship to be misinterpreted, for real harm to result. That's the thing that we should be concerned about.
SAVIDGE: That's why we like having you on the show Errol. Errol Louis, thanks very much for your insight, appreciate it.
LOUIS: Thank you.
PAUL: The El Paso shooting suspect admitting that he was targeting Mexicans when he started shooting at a Wal-Mart just one week ago.
SAVIDGE: Plus, in Tennessee the man hunt intensifies for an escaped inmate wanted in the death of a female department of corrections employee.
PAUL: There is a manhunt right now for an escaped inmate suspected of killing a veteran female corrections official. This is happening in Tennessee. Curtis Ray Watson, please take a look at your screen here, he was on mowing work detail when he use add tractor to escape on Wednesday from West Tennessee State penitentiary in Henning.
SAVIDGE: He is now the suspect in the death of corrections official Deborah Johnson who was found dead in her home on the prison grounds three hours after Watson was seen at her home. Watson was serving a 15-year sentence for aggravated kidnapping since 2013 after serving a previous term for aggravated child abuse. He is considered extremely dangerous.
Well the man accused of killing 22 people and wounding 24 at an El Paso Wal-Mart told police that he was deliberately targeting Mexicans. PAUL: In an affidavit he also told police that he was the Wal-Mart
shooter. Sources say he picked El Paso because he wanted the attack to be far away from his home, which is near Dallas. He's been charged with capital murder, being held without bond. The shooting is being treated as a case of domestic terrorism.
It may be the only time you're going to hear about deep fried Oreos and speeches at the Wing Ding dinner when Iowa becomes ground zero in the presidential race today.
SAVIDGE: I love all of that. This weekend the democratic candidates will all make the rounds of the Iowa State Fair and in a few hours 17 -- that's right, 17 of them -- will speak at a newly organized forum on gun violence. Last night they spoke at the Iowa Democratic Wing Ding Dinner. The dinner serves as a fund-raiser for local arms of Iowa's Democratic Party. It's a way to network really with local volunteers who can help recruit caucus goers.
PAUL: Some of the key moments surrounding the dinner came when the candidates were asked about whether President Trump is a white supremacist. Several of the candidates said outright, yes, he is. A few stopped short of calling him that saying that he supports or condones white supremacy. Take a look here.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Do you think the president is a white supremacist?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Why do you think that?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Because that's his actions.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Would you say that Donald Trump is a white supremacist like some of your fellow candidates?
JOE BIDEN, FORMER VICE PRESIDENT AND 2020 PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Well what I say is Donald Trump is encouraging white supremacy. And that, I don't find there's a distinction without much of a difference.
PAUL: So let's talk about this with CNN Political Commentator Errol Louis, political anchor at "Spectrum News." Errol, so good to see you this morning. Thanks for sticking around.
LOUIS: You, too, Christi. Good to see you.
PAUL: You too. There is a report in "Axios" that there are some Trump officials who say go ahead and call the president a white supremacist. You are only helping embolden the people who support him, and you may be turning off some more moderates. To that you say what?
LOUIS: To that I would say, look, there's a possibility that might be true. On the other hand when it comes to something as serious as what we've just seen, if you can't, as a democratic politician, speak out in defense of the base of the party, members of the base of the party, black voters, Latino voters, who in this case were recently targeted by a domestic terrorist attack, if you can't speak out for them because you think, you know, trying to game it out down the road you might lose moderate voters or swing voters or something like that, then you have no business trying to run to become the President of the United States. I mean, you know, it certainly puts the politicians in sort of a tricky position. And I think the clip you just showed, Christi, illustrates how veteran politicians like Joe Biden handle it and how different they are from somebody like Tom Steyer who is a novice and never run for office before where he'll say, yes, the president is a white supremacist. That will cause some problems for him down the road because that's pretty harsh language to use. The whole point of American politics is to not go into those dark places but to have a more civilized discussion.
PAUL: Exactly. So I wanted to ask you about one of the lines in "Axios," a report from a Trump official is they're trying to make the case that anyone who supports this president is a racist. They're talking about nearly half the country. When we just try to put this into some sort of perspective because some people might look at this and say they're not just attacking the president. They're attacking me. Do you think that that is valid?
LOUIS: Not really. I mean I
Ot just attacking the president. Ot just attacking the president. They're attacking me. Do you think that that is valid?
LOUIS: Not really. I mean, it's a valid tactic. I certainly understand what they are trying to do which is to say, for whatever reason you support the President of the United States, you have to swallow all of it together. These people attacking some of the more extreme and indefensible positions and words and statements and attitudes of the president, they're also attacking you.
That very divisive stance is, in fact, what the problem is here. It's not as if you have to say I'm going to live with every single awful thing that the president does because I like the tax cuts or something like that. It's not the way it is supposed to work. It's not the way people vote. It's not the way the country is governed. If people want to point out that the president has said and done some awful things, and he has, they should feel free to do so.
The idea this will somehow alienate a bunch of people who might also disassociate themselves from some of the worst things that this president has said and done, it just doesn't make any sense at all. So I think to a certain extent you've maybe got Trump's campaign whistling past the graveyard because they can read poll numbers like everyone else and they know that he's in a bit of trouble right now.
PAUL: So let me ask you this, over the next 24-48 hours all of these democrats -- all of these candidates are in Iowa. What are you looking for? Are we going to -- is there any chance that over the next 48 hours we're going to see the number of candidates dwindle depending on what happens?
LOUIS: I don't know if this is going to be that event. I think probably the next televised debates and, frankly, the ability to get into the next televised debates will be more of a way of shaking down the field and narrowing it to a handful of candidates. This is a fun event. This is fried Oreos, fried ice cream, fried everything, right, fried butter. I think we'll see if the front-runners slip up. That's what I'm going to be looking for. Look, it's a bit of a stress test. It's hard not to look ridiculous at some point during a county fair. We'll see how they get through it.
PAUL: Well, now that's what I'm going to be looking for, Errol. Errol Louis thank you so much. Always glad to have you here.
LOUIS: Thank you. OK.
SAVIDGE: The U.S. is not the only country to struggle in the wake of a mass shooting, but it is one of the only countries not to take some kind of action almost immediately. Coming up, we'll take a look at how international gun laws compare to the U.S.
PAUL: Also, he's been ruling Russia for the past 20 years. What do we really know about Vladimir Putin? We'll talk about that.
PAUL: Good morning to you. I'm Christi Paul.
SAVIDGE: And I'm Martin Savidge in for Victor Blackwell. It's hard to believe but it's true. The U.S. has witnessed three mass shootings in just the past two weeks killing dozens of people and the shootings have become so frequent other countries are now issuing travel warnings to the U.S., countries including Canada, Japan and Uruguay. They have told their citizens it's too dangerous to travel to the U.S. right now. President Trump's reaction? He says he'll reciprocate.
PAUL: Now the U.S. isn't the only country to have experienced mass shootings obviously but other countries have taken greater steps to change their national gun laws. Our senior international correspondent, Nick Paton Walsh with us now. Nick, help us understand really how the world is taking in what has happened in the last week here in the U.S.
NICK PATON WALSH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It's sort of strangely kind of binary to some degree. I think a part of many outsiders looking into the U.S. feel a sense of fatigue, sadly, that these things are so regular. It's almost part of, it seems, America's society but at the same time, too, there's an extraordinary disconnect and shock that it's not possible to simply do something. And if you look at the experience of other nations around the world including Japan which recently just put out a warning calling America a gun society suggesting people should be aware if they go there as tourists; remarkable for a key Asian ally. If you look at many nations around the world, they've acted fast when they've had their own violent tragedies.
Greece is usually the backdrop to the United States wrestling with whether more gun control after a two-decade pause it's politically possible. Much of the world looks on in disbelief. For them not just grief but tough action follow their own violent tragedies. Real, permanent gun control passed sometimes in a matter of weeks. New Zealand passed a law in four weeks after their March 15th massacre at two Christ Church mosques. A law to ban most semi-automatic weapons and a buy-back scheme for some of the 1.2 million guns in the country.
JACINDA ARDERN, NEW ZEALAND PRIME MINISTER: You can draw a line and say that does not mean that you need access to military style semiautomatic weapons and assault rifles. You do not. New Zealand had its experience and changed its laws. To be honest with you, I do not understand the United States.
WALSH: After 1996 shooting of 35 people at a popular tourist site in Tasmania, Australia took 650,000 guns out of circulation in a buyback scheme and banned high-caliber rifles and shotguns.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Let there be a dramatic reduction in the number of automatic and semiautomatic weapons in the Australian community.
WALSH: The United Kingdom banned handguns entirely in 1997 after 16 children, aged 5 to 6, were shot dead with a legally owned pistol in the nation's own Sandy Hook.
TONY BLAIR, FORMER BRITISH PRIME MINISTER: The people have spoken. Parliament has spoken. Handguns are banned.
WALSH: The decade before, rifles and pump-action shotguns had also been banned. Illegal ownership carries a mandatory minimum five-year jail term. Gun-related crime is lower than ten years ago although fatal stabbings are rocketing. Other wealthy societies, though, are less violent and the U.S. Japan has one of the lowest murder rates in the world; 0.3 per 100,000 and very complex gun controls. Only shotguns and rifles are allowed and you have to pass a mental and drug test, a written exam and an all-day class where you have to get 95 percent at target practice. Police check your relatives and you for extremist links and can seize or search for weapons easily.
Japanese traveling to the U.S. were warned this week by their foreign ministry to be aware of violent instance in what it called the "U.S.'s gun society." But more control doesn't necessarily impact the murder rate. What about Serbia? Once racked by a civil war it has the highest legal gun ownership globally after war-torn Yemen and the U.S. That's just under 40 per 100 citizens. The U.S. has 120. But its murder rate is 1.39 per 100,000 in 2016, 123 deaths in total; a quarter of the U.S. rate of 5.35.
Tests must be passed every five years for a license, a reason for a gun given as a background check and semiautomatic weapons are banned. There are also many illegal weapons in Serbia, too. The global experience is broadly that less guns in society mean less violent deaths. But even where gun ownership is common, few nations match the everyday violence of the United States. Some Americans may feel a sense of revulsion towards those who take away their guns. In much of the rest of the world the same feeling is inspired by the United States' repeated failure to act.
It's this extraordinary disconnect, I think outsiders feel. As you've seen, there are so many other nations acted and acted fast and permanently, and so many of the statistics, the raw facts, simply show that if you have a lot less guns in society you are less likely to see violent deaths in that society. That's not really under dispute. And I think if you sort of saw the experience of Serbia, too which has quite a lot of firearms in its society, still their murder rate is quite low, still a lot of questions. I think the global experience will lead Americans to ask, maybe they've already been asked and ignored but, still, you can't ignore the basic facts of the global experience.
PAUL: That was enlightening, Nick Paton Walsh. Nick Paton Walsh, thank you so much. We appreciate you being here. Great report.
SAVIDGE: And as Nick just reviewed how other countries approach gun control, my next guest has a unique perspective on how the U.S. handles it. He's an Air Force major, Vin Gupta is a doctor trained in treating combat troops injured by assault weapons. His research focuses on global public health and we spoke earlier about the role of assault rifles in America's gun culture, but we started talking about how that compares to how other countries handle the issue of gun control.
MAJOR VIN GUPTA, CRITICAL CARE PHYSICIAN, U.S. AIR FORCE MEDICAL CORPS: There is no focus on safety, gun control safety, understanding proper storage techniques, proper utilization of a gun here in the United States relative to our allies, our peer countries. I can cite so many different instances of what Austria, what Canada, what India, Japan, what China does to make sure their citizens can utilize guns if they meet certain requirements but most importantly from a public health lens that they know how to be safe. In China, for example, you can't even store a gun at home. You have to do it at a designated facility.
SAVIDGE: Of course gun rights advocates would say any weapon could be used to carry out murder and killings. The assault rifle or the assault style rifle is particularly popular with mass shooters. What makes it so effective?
GUPTA: You know, it's effective for a variety of reasons, one of which you have the ability, you have high capacity magazines, as we call it. Essentially what that does is it allows a shooter to utilize these powerful weapons without having to reload frequently. And so a patient that I'll see in a surgical ICU who has unfortunately been the victim of one of these types of shootings, what you'll see is these patients are riddled with bullets. They incur far more injuries than if they were shot with a regular handgun because the shooter is able to shoot more frequently at a quicker pace without reloading.
But I think importantly and something we don't talk enough about is a bullet that shot from an assault rifle flies at a supersonic speed. It's lighter than a regular bullet from a regular handgun. It causes diffuse burst like injury on impact to the person who has gotten shot versus a regular handgun much more localized injury. From a physician standpoint, a military officer's standpoint I can tell you right now that causes diffuse damage and is far more lethal come from an assault rifle.
SAVIDGE: Well let me then ask you, based upon your studies you've done both in this country and elsewhere, how effective would, say, banning assault-style weapons, red flag laws, and other means of trying background checks to control access to weapons, how effective do you believe they really are compared to what's been done in other nations?
Does it really work?
GUPTA: That's a great question. I think people feel differently about this issue. Some say the evidence is already out there and we should follow and have the humility here in the United States to follow best practices overseas. What I can tell you is there is enough evidence out there to justify the utilization and broad passage of red flag laws. So if somebody is deemed to be a harm to themselves or others, let's remove an assault rifle or any other type of firearm that he or she may have. And that has been proven to be effective in places like Indiana and Connecticut, for example that have state-based red flag laws.
Indiana saw a 7 percent reduction in suicide rates; Connecticut 14 percent after that passage. And considering that two-thirds of gun related deaths in the United States were the result of suicide, I think that's smart policy. Your question on assault weapons bans, this is political. It's a tough decision. It's a tough question. My personal belief is that we're not there yet from a political standpoint. However, from my scientist physician standpoint, I think the evidence is pretty clear if you look at what Australia did after their 1996 mass shooting...
GUPTA: ... they banned essentially all types of semiautomatic weapons. In the preceding 20 years they have not had a single mass casualty event from a firearm.
SAVIDGE: And New Zealand did much the same thing.
GUPTA: From 1994 to 2004.
SAVIDGE: After the mosque attack there, New Zealand did much the same thing. I covered that.
GUPTA: Exactly. You saw the same thing here in 1994 from 2004. We had an assault weapons ban and studies have shown there was a decreased risk of actually having a mass casualty event from a firearm in that ten-year period. So it can work in the United States.
SAVIDGE: Dr. Vin Gupta, I'm sorry. There's so much we could talk about on this subject but we're out of time. Thank you very much for joining us today.
GUPTA: Thanks, Martin. Thanks for having me.
PAUL: I want to take you live to Hong Kong. It is the tenth week of protests. What a crowd that is - they're demonstrating a sit-in. That's at the international airport. We'll take you live there in a moment. Stay close.
PAUL: I want to show you recent pictures out of Hong Kong. We are in week ten of these pro-democracy protests.
SAVIDGE: Dozens of demonstrators are staging a sit-in at the city's international airport, actually that's hundreds. They're doing it for the second day handing out pamphlets to passengers who are arriving at the airport. CNN international correspondent, Ben Wedeman is live from that sit-in in Hong Kong. Ben, is the protest peaceful so far and what are protesters saying?
BEN WEDEMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, this is the second day in a row. It is very peaceful. It's loud. It's rambunctious. It has a sense of humor. For instance here the pamphlet they're handing out to travelers as they arrive here it's attractions in Hong Kong but inside you can read all about the protests you can attend. It also explains why they are protesting which, of course, began in early June over the extradition law.
Now speaking to people here they have a variety of concerns. Of course, they want a commission -- an independent commission into police brutality. They're very concerned about this extradition law that has been officially declared dead but hasn't actually been withdrawn completely from consideration. But the protest is peaceful. They have made it clear that it is not their intention to interfere with the operations of the airport. And as far as we can tell that has not happened. This is unlike on Monday when there was a strike on more than 2,000 ground personnel did not show up for work. More than 100 incoming and outgoing flights were canceled. But it appears everything is proceeding as normal, and it's going to continue again tomorrow. Martin?
PAUL: All right, Ben Wedeman, we appreciate it so much. Thank you.
SAVIDGE: Vladimir Putin has been ruling Russia for the past 20 years. Coming up, a look at his unlikely rise and staying in power at the pinnacle of Russian politics.
PAUL: Have you ever wondered how Vladimir Putin got to where he is today? He's been ruling Russia for 20 years and some say his ability to stay in power is mainly due to a carefully crafted public image. SAVIDGE: Here's CNN's Nathan Hodge with a look at Putin's rise from
Russian spy to Russian leader.
NATHAN HODGE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It was the question on everyone's mind at the World Economic Forum in Davos in 2000.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Who is Mr. Putin?
HODGE: At the time the world knew little about Vladimir Putin, the man who would unexpectedly become president on New Year's Eve 1999. Putin had already drawn international attention as former President Boris Yeltsin's prime minister with his tough talk on fighting domestic terrorists. But little was known about the man or his closely guarded personal life. Putin, a Leningrad native, entered politics after a career in the KGB, the feared Soviet secret police. He worked as a spy in East Germany before the fall of the Berlin Wall. His first appearances on the international stage were not polished. In an early interview with CNN's Larry King, the new president almost seemed to smirk when asked about the tragic sinking of the Kursk, a Russian military submarine. S
LARRY KING, CNN HOST: You tell me, what happened with the submarine?
VLADIMIR PUTIN, PRESIDENT OF RUSSIA: (Through translator) It sunk.
HODGE: The Kremlin P.R. machine, however, was intent on remaking him. State television portrayed him as a powerful leader showing him in tightly-scripted appearances as Russia's commander in chief and as a figure on the world stage. Putin's image was carefully molded to portray him as the leader of a resurgent country that had risen from its knees after the humiliating collapse of the Soviet Union and its loss of superpower status. And Putin's public image had no room for vulnerability.
The Kremlin leader is portrayed in a range of guises, as a man's man, as a defender of animals, and, above all, as an almost sentimental patriot.
TRUMP: Good to be with you.
HODGE: His tough authoritarian image was even envied by other aspiring leaders. In 2013 Donald Trump wondered if Putin would become his, quote, "best friend." To many Russians, Putin has become the embodiment of Russia's national prestige. But the question remains, what comes after him after two decades in power? As thousands took to the streets in Moscow in late July to call for free and fair elections, Putin was heading to the bottom of the sea in a submersible. That, for some critics, was the symbol of a powerful leader out of touch with his people. Nathan Hodge, CNN, Moscow.
PAUL: Well, the Oakland Raiders don't play their first game until tonight but there's already some drama off the field. Coy Wire, this is bizarre.
COY WIRE, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: I'm here with this bizarre story and the helmet I wore in the NFL.
Antonio Brown could hang up his helmet for good because the NFL won't let him wear his. Wait until you hear much he's willing to give up to wear the one he loves.
SAVIDGE: Well, the Oakland Raiders haven't played a single down yet, but their star wide receiver, Antonio Brown, reportedly threatened to call it quits and you won't believe why.
PAUL: Coy Wire in this morning's "Bleacher Report."
WIRE: You know how some kids don't want to go to sleep if they don't have their favorite blanket?
WIRE: Well, Antonio Brown saying he's not going to play the game he loves if he doesn't get to wear his favorite helmet. We're talking about a deal this season for him that's worth up to $50 million. He filed a grievance with the NFL over not being able to use the helmet he's thought to have worn the last nine seasons. They don't even make that model anymore. The NFL banned 11 models that fall short of safety tests; 32 players including Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers now have to switch and they're going to do it to these new approved helmets.
According to reports Brown was still wearing his outdated helmet at Raiders practice last week. Yesterday A.B. had a two-hour conference call with an independent arbitrator. He argued why he should be able to wear his old helmet. A decision could come as early as next week. Antonio Brown also recovering from frostbitten feet after stepping into a cryotherapy chamber. His problems now head to toe are also the Raiders' problems as Brown is missing valuable time with his new team.
The third time is the charm for Serena Williams against Naomi Osaka, Sarena earning her first career win against Osaka last night.
This was the first time they've played since last year's controversial U.S. Open final when Williams' argument with the umpire overshadowed Osaka's upset win. There was a scary moment in the second set. Serena trying to chase down a drop shot but ran into the net post with her stomach and hit her arm into the top of the net. Serena was okay and cruised to straight set victory. Serena is currently ranked tenth in the world but despite the loss, Osaka will move up to number one when the new rankings come out on Monday.
Finally, somebody call the cops because Simone Biles is breaking all the laws of gravity. Check this out -- balance beam routine, national championships. Look. This is two flips, two twists and a dismount. She sticks the landing. No one has ever done this before. She also scored the top marks in the floor exercise in vault and is heavily favored to win a record sixth all-around championship. I got to interview her at the last Olympic games. Incredible off the mat as well.
PAUL: Oh yes, she is. Oh, yes, she is. Coy, thank you so much.
SAVIDGE: Good to see you.
PAUL: So the new CNN original series, "The Movies"continues Sunday night with the '60s. Hear from the actors, the directors, the people who brought your favorite scenes to life. "The Movies" airs tomorrow night at 9:00 only on CNN.
SAVIDGE: And today on "CNN Newsroom" at 3:00 Eastern, Ana Cabrera talks one-on-one with former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg. That will be today at 3:00 only on CNN.