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EARLY START

Philadelphia Standoff Ends with Six Police Officers Shot; Global Markets Concern Amid Growing Recession Fears; Israeli PM Considers Barring Two Dems from Israel; Chinse Government Sends Message to Hong Kong Protesters. Aired 4:30-5a ET

Aired August 15, 2019 - 04:30   ET

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


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[04:31:21] UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Keep your hands up. Keep your hands up. Keep your hands up.

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ALISON KOSIK, CNN ANCHOR: Breaking overnight. A dramatic standoff ends with six officers shot in Philadelphia. More gun violence in a nation waiting for answers.

VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN ANCHOR: Stocks selloff. Markets fall after a key indicator points to trouble on the horizon. What's in store today?

KOSIK: And breaking overnight, another Democrat set to bow out of the 2020 race. We'll tell you who.

Welcome back to EARLY START. I'm Alison Kosik and I'm sitting in for Christine Romans.

BLACKWELL: I'm Victor Blackwell sitting in for Dave Briggs. 31 minutes after the hour now here in New York.

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UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Keep your hands up. Keep your hands up.

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BLACKWELL: And breaking overnight a dramatic end to a nearly eight- hour standoff with a gunman that left six Philadelphia police officers shot.

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UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Get up here now. Get up here.

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BLACKWELL: You can hear the shots here during these terrifying moments on the streets of Philadelphia's Tioga-Nicetown section. This all started when officers tried to serve a warrant. You can listen to the police scanners blaring with the desperate calls for help.

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UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Use caution. Police are involved.

(CROSSTALK)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (EXPLETIVE DELETED).

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Stand by. Stand by. Second assist, 3750 North 50. Shots fired. Shots fired inside.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Shots still ringing off. Give me SWAT ASAP. Long guns, ASAP. I've got officers shot. I've got officers shot, radio. All right? So I need SWAT.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KOSIK: That is chilling. In the wake of deadly massacres in El Paso and Dayton, Ohio, Philadelphia's mayor wants to know when is enough enough.

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MAYOR JIM KENNEY, PHILADELPHIA: It's aggravating. It's saddening. And it's just something that we need to -- we need to do something about. And if the state and federal government don't want to stand up to the NRA and some other folks, then let us -- let us police ourselves. Our officers deserve to be protected and they don't deserve to be shot at by a guy for hours with an unlimited supply of weapons and an unlimited supply of bullets. So it's disgusting and we've got to do something about it, and we need to do something about it quickly.

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KOSIK: Jason Carroll is in Philadelphia with more on the shooting.

JASON CARROLL, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Alison, Victor, it was just around midnight. That's when we started hearing the officers shouting out on a loud speaker for the suspect to come out with his hands up. Minutes later then we heard the command, get on the ground, get on the ground. Shortly thereafter police tweeted out that the suspect was in custody and the standoff was over.

This all began yesterday just at about 4:30 in the afternoon. That's when the initial calls started coming in. Police had gone out to this row house trying to serve a search warrant. Narcotics officers responded. They were met by gunfire. Officers had to jump out of the second story window to escape some of the gunfire. And then for the next several hours, there was a standoff between the suspect and police.

At one point, two officers were held up on the second floor. They were able to escape by late evening with the help of SWAT. Six officers were injured during the shooting. Those officers eventually released from hospital. A seventh officer actually was injured when he was trying to get to the scene. He was caught in some sort of a car accident. He's going to be OK as well.

Officers throughout the evening tried to negotiate, tried to speak with the suspect. They were met by gunfire. And then during the last two hours there was -- they were met with silence as they kept shouting commands but then once again finally just after midnight the standoff came to an end -- Alison, Victor.

[04:35:10] KOSIK: OK. Jason Carroll, thanks.

President Trump's disruption of global norms now hitting his crown jewel, the economy. Markets tumbled after a warning signal that has an eerily accurate track record for predicting recessions. The Dow closed down 800 points. It was a big plunge, the worst day of the year.

Asian markets closed mostly higher, although you can see there a 1 percent decline in the Nikkei. Right now looks like a lot of green arrows for the start of the trading day today. It looks like we could see triple-digit gains for the Dow at the open at 9:30 a.m.

Wednesday's selloff, though, is the fourth biggest point drop in American history. So what happened here? Investors are concerned about the inverted yield curve. In basic terms, it's when short-term bonds pay out higher interest than long-term bonds. The 10-year yield dropped just below the two-year bond for the first time since 2007. So investors are clearly concerned about slowing global growth.

Analysts say the yield curve isn't the only concern here.

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MARK ZANDI, CHIEF ECONOMIST, MOODY'S ANALYTICS: If we're not in recession globally, we're pretty close. And it's going to weigh on us here. The U.S. economy is starting to struggle. And if the president can't figure out a way to find some kind of face-saving arrangement with China pretty soon, we will be in recession.

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KOSIK: OK. But Trump blamed, who else, but Fed chief Jerome Powell, not his trade war with China for the selloff, calling him clueless and saying that the problem is the Fed. We should note here, the yield curve nearly inverted two months ago and no one panicked. The difference now is investors are more concerned because I think that they've had enough of President Trump's constant waffling on the trade war.

BLACKWELL: So growth is slowing in the U.S. There are warning signs in Europe and Asia.

CNN's Hadas Gold is live in London with more on the economic concerns. And we should call them the global concerns, Hadas.

HADAS GOLD, CNN MONEY, POLITICS, MEDIA AND BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: Victor, there's absolutely global concerns, instability, trade wars, rising populism and nationalism around the world have investors worried. Let me just go through a quick list here to give you an idea of what we're looking at.

We talked about China, the growing fears, the trade wars. And China has also had its slowest growth of industrial output in 17 years. And of course we have the political instability in Hong Kong. Germany, Europe's biggest economy, shrank 1 percent. The Eurozone barely grew. In Argentina, we have huge issues with the peso there. You go to Britain and the Brexit, we still don't know whether there's going to be a hard no deal Brexit at the end of October, whether there will be a deal.

And of course in previous years perhaps United States might have tried to have been a sort of calming force for a lot of these issues. Instead we have a president who's actually advocating for something like a no deal Brexit, something that many businesses in Europe and in the U.K. do not want. They would rather have a deal Brexit rather than the uncertainty of what a no deal Brexit would look like.

And listen, "Wall Street Journal" had recently a poll of economists and they on average saw a 33.6 percent probability of a recession in the next 12 months. There are some fears that even just talking about a recession so much can somehow lead into a recession. But these clear fears the instability around the world, they're causing a lot of investors to worry -- Victor.

BLACKWELL: Hadas Gold for us in London. Hadas, thank you.

KOSIK: Breaking news from the campaign trail. Democrat John Hickenlooper is ending his bid for president. Sources say the former Colorado governor will make a formal announcement today. He is said to be considering a run for the Senate, something party leaders have urged him to do. Hickenlooper struggled to break out of the crowded Democratic field. He was a moderate voice making his opposition to Democratic socialism central to his campaign. He was not likely to qualify, though, for the next round of debates in September.

Meantime, Beto O'Rourke plans to return to the trail today. He returned home to El Paso after the Walmart shooting. An aide said O'Rourke will have a refocused message.

BLACKWELL: Two Democratic congresswomen may not be allowed to visit Israel because of their support of a boycott movement against the Jewish state.

CNN's Oren Liebermann is live in Jerusalem. And there have been some support from an ambassador earlier this summer saying that they will be allowed in but maybe there's a reversal?

Oren, good morning.

OREN LIEBERMANN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: It was Israel's ambassador to the U.S., Ron Dermer, who said that because of Israel's respect for the U.S. Congress and for the U.S. itself, these two Democratic Muslim congresswomen, Congresswomen Rashid Tlaib and Ilhan Omar, would be allowed to visit. But now their entire trip which was scheduled to start tomorrow night may be in jeopardy. An Israeli government official telling CNN there is a possibility that Israel will not allow the visit in its current proposed format.

Professional teams and legal counsel in various government ministries are continuing to examine the decision. We could not get any clarification from the prime minister's office to the Interior Ministry or the Foreign Ministry or other government ministries here on what about the current proposed format is troubling or concerning to the Israeli government but that's where the decision stands right now.

[04:40:10] At this point with something like 36 hours to go until this trip is scheduled to begin, Israel is still considering very much the possibility of barring these two from entering the country.

Now there is already and there have been trips by other Congress people to Israel, including a Democratic trip earlier this month and right now a bipartisan trip. But these two congresswomen have decided to visit on their own. They are some of the most vocal critics of Israel in Congress, and as you pointed out, Victor, they support a boycott of Israel. And that's what has made this so sensitive to the Israeli government.

They do plan on visiting one of the holiest sites in Jerusalem known to Muslims as Al-Haram ash-Sharif, the Noble Sanctuary, and to Jews as the Temple Mount. And they insisted on visiting without an Israeli escort because they are Muslims and they demand they have the right to pray there. And this could be part of the sensitivity the Israeli government is worried about, as well as trips to other areas.

As of right now, Victor, there was no plan from these two according to the organizers of the trip to meet with either Israeli and Palestinian officials. Instead they wanted to meet with peace activists as well as representatives of human rights organizations. But as I said, Victor, with just some 36 hours or so until this trip is scheduled to begin and go for a few days here, Israel is still reserving the right to bar them from entering the country.

BLACKWELL: So, Oren, we've watched this close relationship between Prime Minister Netanyahu and President Trump. But what consideration is there that this refusal to allow the congresswomen to enter will disrupt the relationships between the governments of Israeli and the United States?

LIEBERMANN: Well, there are always political considerations between Israel and the U.S. especially for Israel and for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu when we're some 3 1/2 or four weeks out from an election where Netanyahu is up against a very tough battle and a fractured right-wing voter base. And it could very much be that's who he's appealing to. Reportedly President Donald Trump has suggested to Israel that they should not be allowed in. And certainly that will score points not only for Trump's voter base but also for Netanyahu's.

But there is, as you point out the bigger concern here that not letting these two congresswomen in could fracture the already tense relationship between Israel and the Democratic Party. Remember, Israel tries to keep itself as a bipartisan issue and if Israel goes ahead and does decide to bar these two from entering, it could very much put that relationship as a bipartisan relationship in jeopardy.

BLACKWELL: Oren Liebermann for us in Jerusalem. Oren, thank you.

KOSIK: OK. A setback for the U.S. women's soccer team in their fight for equal pay.

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[04:46:41] KOSIK: Welcome back. Former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright is lashing out at President Trump's top immigration official for suggesting only immigrants who can stand on their own two feet are welcome in the United States. Albright has been a refugee twice in her life, once from the Nazis.

Listen to her tell CNN's Anderson Cooper what she thinks of Ken Cuccinelli's comments.

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MADELEINE ALBRIGHT, FORMER SECRETARY OF STATE: This country has benefitted by the diversity that has come through immigration. And so I find it one of the most un-American statements I've ever heard. And you pointed out that I have a Statue of Liberty pin on. I think the Statue of Liberty is weeping.

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KOSIK: Albright says she will always remember seeing the Statue of Liberty when she sailed by it on her way to the United States.

BLACKWELL: An epidemic of gun violence in St. Louis. Police say seven children under the age of 17 have been killed by gunfire this year. The latest victim, 7-year-old Xavier Usanga. He was fatally shot while playing with his sisters in their backyard. He was supposed to start second grade this week. Xavier's mother says two men were shooting at each other in the street when her child became another innocent victim.

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DAWN USANGA, 7-YEAR-OLD SON KILLED DURING SHOOTING: Take into consideration what you might -- what is the end result and if you're ready to take responsibility for that end result. Playing with a gun might be fun, it might be something, but do you really know at the end of the day if you take someone's life, what that feels like.

(END VIDEO CLIP) BLACKWELL: Police say they have arrested a suspect in connection with Xavier's shooting. FBI statistics show that St. Louis has the highest murder rate of any American big city dating back to 2014.

KOSIK: Funny, articulate, intelligent and a mass murderer. Now the parents of the Dayton shooter are apologizing for describing their son in glowing terms in an obituary on a funeral homes' Web site. The Betts family posted glowing remembrances of the gunman and his younger sister who was killed in the rampage. Connor Betts's eulogy was removed Wednesday at the family's request. It was replaced by a note from his parents expressing their regret for the wording, noting it was insensitive in not acknowledging the terrible tragedy that he created.

The now removed page for the shooter also included photos ranging from his younger days doing martial arts to more recent images of him drinking beer and smiling with family members. Neither obituary mentioned the Dayton massacre.

BLACKWELL: A setback for the U.S. women's soccer team in its fight for equal pay. Mediation talks with U.S. Soccer broke down on Wednesday. Now the case now appears to be heading to federal court. A spokesperson for the players says they are sorely disappointed by the Soccer Federation's determination to operate, quote, "a fundamentally discriminatory workplace." They released this statement, "We want all of our fans, sponsors, peers around the world and women everywhere to know we are undaunted and will eagerly look forward to a jury trial."

The U.S. Soccer Federation has not commented. And the women's team does make less than the men but their revenues are also a lot lower. Both sides agreed to mediation after the women won their fourth World Cup in France in July.

KOSIK: Look, up in the sky, it's a bird, it's a plane, it's raining plastic. So, this isn't funny.

[04:50:04] A government study of rainfall in the Rocky Mountains found plastic was present in 90 percent of the samples. It was mostly in fiber form and came in a variety of colors. Scientists used a binocular microscope fitted with a digital camera to see the particles. It's not clear where the plastic is coming from, but plastic contamination has been a growing global problem. Several studies are being conducted to determine the health effects of living with all of this plastic.

BLACKWELL: Late-night comedy in the era of Trump. Stephen Colbert is in deep. In a rare interview, the late-night host told CNN's Anderson Cooper President Trump wants to live in a fantasy world while trying to convince the American people it's the only world that exists. Colbert calls his "heresy against reality," the president's M.O. Now the president was on his show during the 2016 campaign but Colbert says that that will not happen again.

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ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Would you want to have Trump on your show again?

STEPHEN COLBERT, LATE-NIGHT HOST: The quick answer would be no, because I -- it would be hard for me to be properly respectful of the office because I think that he is so disrespectful of the office that it is very hard to perceive him as I would want to perceive a president in terms of their status and the dignity and the representation of the United States. So I think just for safety's sake it wouldn't be a good idea.

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BLACKWELL: You can watch Anderson's full interview with Stephen Colbert in a primetime special tonight at 9:00 Eastern right here on CNN.

KOSIK: OK. Amazon is starting a new program to keep unsold merchandise out of the garbage. CNN Business has the details next.

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[04:56:05] BLACKWELL: Chinese paramilitary forces are gathering near Hong Kong's border. And observers say it's intended to send a message to protesters who have disrupted Asia's financial hub.

CNN's Matt Rivers is live in Shenzhen, China.

Matt, any indication at all that this will advance from posturing to advancing to intervening there?

MATT RIVERS, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: That is the most important question that anyone should be asking, and the answer to that is no. I mean, we need to be very clear. You know, there's a difference between posturing and propaganda and action. And while it is absolutely newsworthy that thousands of paramilitary forces have chosen this particular stadium, this sports stadium where we were able to see them last night, Wednesday evening here, to -- you know, to at least set up temporary shop, it's just miles away from the Hong Kong border, there are no signs that Beijing is ready to send in its military into Hong Kong which is just across the water there behind me.

That said, that is the message that Beijing wants to get across to the protesters in Hong Kong and also to the international community that it reserves the right under Hong Kong basic law, under Chinese law, to send in military forces to quell social unrest if it so chooses but there are a myriad number of reasons why Beijing would choose to not do that. Economic, political, diplomatic, military. There's a whole list of reasons that we could get into for hours about why that wouldn't be a great idea for Beijing.

But the fact that these troops are here suggest that Beijing wants to signal that it's not taking that option off the table. This of course comes at the same time as President Trump is tweeting about someone who he calls his friend, President Xi Jinping, suggesting optimism that President Xi could humanely deal with this situation if he chose to do so and even suggesting a personal meeting between the two, not only about Hong Kong but also about trying to resolve this trade war. Clearly President Trump is linking the two issues even if President Xi in Beijing are not ready to do that.

BLACKWELL: Yes. That intervening could have major impact there in Hong Kong. Matt Rivers, for us, thank you.

All right. Imagine if Trump Tower ended up on Obama Avenue. Imagine the tweets.

(LAUGHTER)

BLACKWELL: A petition is circulating in New York City to remain part of Fifth Avenue in honor of President Barack Obama. Now the one block stretch happens to be the home of Trump Tower. About 250,000 people have signed the petition. Now it promotes President Obama's signature achievements like taking out Osama bin Laden, serving two scandal-free terms. But there's a problem here. Guidelines for renaming a street require the honoree to be dead for at least two years, although rare exceptions can be made.

KOSIK: OK. Let's get a check on CNN Business this morning. Macy's had a real rough spring. The latest sign of pressure on the battered department store sector. Its profit fell 48 percent during the second quarter. Macy's said it had a fashion miss with its athletic brand and struggled to sell warm weather gear. That left it with too many clothes on the shelves forcing it to be put them on sale. Those discounts pinched its quarterly profit.

Macy's week quarter signaled broader issues for department stores in general. Sales at department stores have dropped 4.3 percent over the past six months. Retailers are also worried about the ongoing trade war with China. Shoppers will likely see prices go up as Macy's and other stores if tariffs are placed on all Chinese goods.

Amazon is beginning a new program to stop -- I'm sorry, to keep ongoing merchandise out of the garbage. Fulfilment by Amazon Donations will donate products that its third-party sellers in the U.S. and U.K. were unable to sell to charity. The program will be a default option for sellers when they decide to get rid of excess or unwanted products that are in Amazon's warehouses. The launch comes as Amazon drew criticism overseas following the flat screen TVs, toys, and other items that were being dumped in France and Britain. The new program begins in September.

I would like to know just how --

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