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NEW DAY SUNDAY

Massive Anti-Government Protests Flood the Streets of Hong Kong; Workers Who Attended Speech Told Not to Protest Trump; 120 plus Cases of Lung Disease in 15 States Could Be Linked to Vaping; Jay-Z Inks Entertainment, Social Justice Deal With the NFL; Growing Concerns Over Fallout from Botched Russian Missile Test. Aired 7-8a ET

Aired August 18, 2019 - 07:00   ET

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


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[07:00:28] UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Dueling protests in Portland, Oregon.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Far right groups holding a rally in downtown were met with the far left group known as Antifa.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We are resisting the fascism. We're not allowing them to just take over our streets.

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I love the unions and I love the workers.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: A stark choice for union workers in Pennsylvania we're learning ahead of the president's speech there earlier this week. Show up if you want to get paid or burn one of your days off.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Shell is denying that they wrote that memo and they are taking particular issue with the line about how workers were not allowed to protest President Trump.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What was supposed to be a day of joy has turned into a day of terror after a suicide blast ripped through a wedding in Kabul.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Many folks in that area are trying to find peace.

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ANNOUNCER: This is NEW DAY WEEKEND with Victor Blackwell and Christi Paul.

VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN ANCHOR: Hour two now. Good Sunday morning to you.

Let's start here with a live picture, straight to Hong Kong. Hundreds of thousands of people are protesting. These are anti-government protesters in large part, really protesting Beijing's influence. You see things ramping up in some parts. The organized protest ending, the sun going down there. That's what's happening in Hong Kong.

CHRISTI PAUL, CNN ANCHOR: Now, in mainland China, the government is ramping up its rhetoric with its own dramatic new propaganda video. Take a look at this.

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PAUL: That is their sound, their video. Police forces shown holding training exercises including makeshift riots, tear gas, police dogs. Earlier this week, CNN witnessed dozens of paramilitary forces staging on the outskirts there of Hong Kong.

Let's get to CNN's Ben Wedeman live on the scene with the protesters right now.

This is the time often, Ben, when things can get a little dicey there because the actual organization of the protesters is starting to dissipate and then you have those stragglers.

How is it there for you now?

BEN WEDEMAN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: This evening it does appear that so far the situation, this protest has been peaceful. There are tens of thousands of people out on the streets. The police headquarters just behind me, the legislative counsel, the office of the people's liberation arm, the army of mainland China. So far the protests have been peaceful. There is a desire among protesters we spoke to that they can protest peacefully, that after several weeks of protests that began peacefully, proceeded by and large peacefully but ended with violence against police stations, against the police in general.

So, so far, so good. Now, many of the protesters we spoke to had seen that not very subtle video coming from mainland China of the riot police training there. Now, what's interesting about that video is that not only was it shot right next door in Shenzhen, mainland China, but the chants of the riot police are in Cantonese, which is the dialect the Chinese spoken here in Hong Kong.

So, it's far from a subtle message. But one woman we spoke to said it's just PR Victor, Christi.

BLACKWELL: Ben Wedeman amongst the protesters in Hong Kong -- thank you.

PAUL: Thanks, Ben.

Also this morning, 63 people are dead and 182 wounded after a suicide bomb attack at a wedding celebration. This is in Kabul. And we have some video we have to show you from after the blast. I don't want you to be caught off guard here.

These are images that are hard to look at. I want you to know that as we're going to it.

BLACKWELL: First, you see the shoes piled here into the room and the blood stains on, looks like, a tablecloth or chair covering, the shattered ceiling tiles of the banquet hall.

[07:05:04] Afghanistan's president blamed the Taliban for the attack in a tweet but the Taliban is denying any involvement in this suicide attack.

PAUL: Now, remember, this is just the day after President Trump discussed a U.S. Taliban peace plan with his national security advisers.

That plan would include a U.S./Taliban cease-fire but without a commitment from the Taliban to hold its fire on Afghan people or the Afghan military.

CNN military analyst, Lieutenant General Mark Hertling talked to us last hour and said that just would not be the right move in this case.

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LT. GENERAL MARK HERTLING (RET.), CNN MILITARY ANALYST: When you go into a war, you normally have an end state. After you achieve that end state, you have an exit strategy. What is currently being discussed is not an exit strategy. It's purely an exit, and it's driven by political considerations as all military negotiations are. But unfortunately, this one is going to have a whole lot of repercussions and it will put many people on the short end of the stick.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

PAUL: The war in Afghanistan is America's longest running war.

BLACKWELL: We're learning from officials in Portland, Oregon, that six people were injured and more than a dozen people were arrested in yesterday's standoff between right-wing extremists and anti-fascists.

PAUL: Yes, the Pub Boys, a group designated a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center billed the protests as a rally against domestic terrorism. But antifa counterdemonstrators were also out calling an end to white supremacy. More than 700 officers closed bridges and streets to keep the rival groups apart. And for the most part, they succeeded.

Police in Connecticut have arrested a man they say was stockpiling weapons and potentially interested in a mass killing spree.

BLACKWELL: Investigators say that 22-year-old Brandon Wagshol was on their radar after he started traveling across state lines to buy high- capacity rifle magazines. Now, police also say he made a number of racist and anti-transgender rants online. Several weapons, body armor were found on a raid in his home. According to police, the weapons are registered to Wagshol's father.

The NSTB is investigating what caused a small plane to crash into a house. This is in upstate New York. Three people were on board. Only two survived. PAUL: Now, there were also three people inside the home when that

plane crashed into it. One person died and another was seriously hurt. That third person inside the home is still missing.

BLACKWELL: Still to come, workers at a chemical plant in Pennsylvania, this is where President Trump spoke last week, they were given some options if they did not attend the event. They didn't like them, some of them at least. That's ahead.

PAUL: Also, GOP Congressman Steve king and Iowa voters face off over some controversial comments that he's made regarding rape and incest. How King is responding.

BLACKWELL: And two men in the U.S. Virgin Islands are being called heroes after saving a woman whose wheelchair rolled into the ocean.

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[07:11:15] BLACKWELL: Eleven minutes after the hour this Sunday morning. Good to have you.

We are learning that workers at a chemical plant where President Trump spoke last week were given three choices if they did not attend the event.

PAUL: And CNN has obtained a copy of those instructions sent in a memo to the staff.

CNN White House reporter Sarah Westwood joining us from Berkeley Heights near where the president is vacationing.

So, help us understand what options they were given.

SARAH WESTWOOD, CNN WHITE HOUSE REPORTER: Well, Christi, workers at this Royal Dutch Shell petrochemical plant in Pennsylvania were basically given two choices. One, they could miss out on some of their overtime pay if they decided not to attend the president's event. They would have to take one of their few paid time off days or they would have to take a day with no pay at all if they didn't want to show up at the event. Or if they could go to the event, but if they did so, they were instructed, at least some of these union workers, instructed not to protest, not to do anything that could be read as resistance.

Here's part of the memo those some of those Shell workers got. No yelling, shouting, protesting or anything viewed as resistance will be tolerated at the event. Those who are not in attendance will not receive overtime pay on Friday.

Now, a spokesman for the Shell company said, confirmed this to CNN, saying in part in a statement, it was understood some would choose not to attend the presidential visit and were given the option of paid time off instead. As with any work week, if someone chooses to take PTO, they are not eligible to receive maximum overtime.

Now, keep in mind that this speech was not supposed to be political in nature. It wasn't funded by the campaign. It was a taxpayer-funded event, though President Trump did take the opportunity to hit some of his 2020 campaign highlights. Take a listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: I'm going to speak to some of your union leaders to say, I hope you are going to support Trump, OK? And if they don't, vote them the hell out of their office because they're not doing their job. It's true. Vote them out of office.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WESTWOOD: Now, workers were told that their union leaders had agreed to this arrangement before the event was announced. Again, this speech at the petrochemical plant took place on Tuesday and it was supposed to be about U.S. energy dominance, Victor and Christi.

PAUL: All right. Sarah Westwood, appreciate the wrap-up. Thank you.

BLACKWELL: Let's bring in CNN political analyst, April Ryan.

April, good morning to you.

APRIL RYAN, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Good morning, Victor.

BLACKWELL: Hey, there is always a tweet for that. So, the president now talks --

RYAN: Always.

BLACKWELL: So, let's go to the tweet first. This is from October. The president tweeted, the paid D.C. protesters are now ready to really protest because they haven't gotten their checks. No evidenced that the protesters -- this was during the Kavanaugh confirmation, those protesters were being paid. But the attendees of this White House rally had to attend to get their pay, a bit of irony there.

RYAN: Yes, irony. The president is a person that says, do as I say, not as a do.

Here, Victor, here's they issue. The issue is, is that Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Michigan, are key states that the president needs. And it's all about the winning picture in the state of Pennsylvania that's already said to be a problem for the president. So, therefore, he had to -- well, not necessarily him, but his people.

So if anyone has to fall on the sword, it's his people, not him. His people had to make sure that that rally looked like there was enthusiasm, there were numbers there. This president is having a bit of a problem with this re-election no matter what he's saying, even as he's telling people, oh, you have to vote for me because of your 401(k). He is having a problem this election cycle.

[07:15:03] BLACKWELL: Yes. Let me ask you, there is often a rush to -- because there are so many unprecedented moments from this administration to say, can you believe the president did this or a president has never done this. But when the president at a -- not a political rally. This is not sponsored by the campaign but by the White House and says, I'm going to be speaking to your union leaders, if they don't vote for me, you should get rid of them.

Is that something we've seen or heard before?

RYAN: We've heard it, but not necessarily from the White House. We've heard it in back rooms, you know, it's reminiscent of some of those crime movies, those crime boss movies almost. This is a different day. And America has a choice. It's a different day.

We have a leader who is not politically correct and he touts that. We have a leader who is not a traditional president and he touts that. We have a president who is a leader and you better do this or else.

We've never seen that in this country. There's saying a lot. You know, I've covered presidents since 1997 and, boy, this is new. This is really new. It's a new day.

BLACKWELL: Let me talk to you about something that is not new, and that's Congressman Steve King making a controversial comment. He had another tense exchange with his constituents. This is at a town hall in Iowa over those comments about rape and incest.

He was asked to defend the comment he made Wednesday questioning whether there would be any population of the world left if you pulled out the people who were products of rape and incest. This is what he said.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REP. STEVE KING (R-IA): I'm defending innocent, unborn human life. I'm the author of the heart beat bill at the national level and also at the state level. I did not allow exceptions for rape and incest in that bill because those babies that are born as a product of those activities are as precious as you are or any of my grandchildren are.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BLACKWELL: Now, he was already stripped of his committee assignments earlier for his comments about white supremacy not -- as being offensive now. Is there any indication that anyone, any Republican in Washington is going to take some action against Steve King, not just suggest that he resign?

RYAN: Well, the way I understand it, evangelicals are upset with Steve King for this latest rant. Republicans are upset. They want him gone. You know he's being primaried.

But you also have a president that feels he's a distraction no matter what he says. This president is having a hard time in Iowa, another state that he's having a problem, Steve King is not helping. So, Republicans are doing a lot of things, talking behind closed doors.

Steve King is in trouble. All of this stuff is coming up, it's catching up with him. BLACKWELL: Yes. Certain Republicans on Capitol Hill are now talking

about supporting his primary opponent. The president's full extent said, certainly wasn't a good statement. Full stop from the president.

April Ryan, thank you so much.

RYAN: Thanks, Victor.

PAUL: So, rapper Jay-Z, he's used to making some deals. His new partnership with the NFL, though, is not being received very well by a lot of people. What we know about his new role and how hip-hop's first billionaire is responding to the fallout now.

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[07:22:09] PAUL: Twenty-one minutes past the hour right now.

And, you know, the number of people turning to e-cigarettes is on the rise as vaping has become so common. The thing is so have the number of severe lung disease cases that may be linked to it.

Minnesota just the latest state reporting new cases. But there could be dozens of similar cases in nearby Wisconsin, in Illinois.

I want to talk about it with Dr. Frank Leone. He's the director of Penn's Comprehensive Smoking Treatment Program at Penn Lung Center and an associate professor of medicine at the University of Pennsylvania Medical Center.

Good morning to you, Doctor. Thank you for being with us.

DR. FRANK LEONE, PENN CENTER: Good morning, Christi. Thanks so much for having me.

PAUL: I appreciate it. Thank you.

So, we know that at least 15 states have identified more than 120 cases of lung disease or injuries from this. How do you think vaping has been characterized as safer than smoking?

LEONE: Yes. That was a pretty common assumption when these products were first introduced to the market about 15 years ago. They were promoted as using water vapor as something safe and ubiquitous to actually emulate the process of smoking. We know it's not water vapor and we know they're not harmless. They definitely get down into the lungs and the aerosol causes a lot of information and what we're seeing now is the effect of the high prevalence of use, particularly among young people.

PAUL: Did you this coming at all, the 120 cases of lung disease and how much more vulnerable are young people?

LEONE: Absolutely. At the very outset, as soon as these products were available, people tried to figure out what was going on inside that aerosol that you see. And early studies in the laboratory, in mice and Petri dishes suggested the aerosol was pretty good at promoting the inflammatory process inside the lung, actually changing the ability of the lung to be able to protect itself from the outside world.

And what's most remarkable is that young people have been influenced to use these products, particularly with what's referred to the fourth generation products, those that are sleek, look like USBs are very good at initiating the behavior among young people.

PAUL: We see some symptoms -- shortness of breath, fever, cough, headache, dizziness, chest pain. What I've read is that it's not just the vaping product itself but it's the products they're putting into it. Not just nicotine now, but THC, synthetic cannabanoids. How significant is the potential misuse of this?

LEONE: It's a big part of a problem. I mean, I think these products -- in part, some of the products are designed to be able to be modified by the user.

[07:25:07] And it's the way the user modifies the product that actually influences the toxicity of the aerosol to the lung.

So, for example, some people enjoy turning the element of the heating voltage and dripping the solution directly onto the heating element. That process actually changing the chemistry and the aerosol characteristics in such a way as to promote inflammation.

PAUL: So, when we hear about hundreds of cases and these kids being in the hospital for weeks at a time, some in ICU, what are the long- term damages we're talking about from this?

LEONE: Yes, that's really an important question. So, really, what we're seeing right now are really the kind of acute effects of exposure to this aerosol. What we believe is actually going to happen is in the long term.

People who don't necessarily have symptoms up front may experience chronic, low-grade, indolent inflammation in the lungs. We don't know what that is going to end up being. We know the pathways that get activated in the lung are similar to the pathways that lead to scarring diseases of the lung. We don't have enough time under our belts yet in order to identify that, for sure.

PAUL: Dr. Frank Leone, we learned so much from you today. Thank you for taking time for us.

LEONE: Thanks so much for having me.

BLACKWELL: There was a really certifying moment on the moment on the track. It's a risk every racer knows they face. A motorcyclist flying off his bike at full speed. We'll show you the rest of this video and tell you how the rider is right now.

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[07:30:20] CHRISTI PAUL, CNN ANCHOR: Well, rapper and businessman Jay-Z faces some backlash after striking a deal with the NFL. The rapper's entertainment company Roc Nation helping now advice the league on selecting artists for performances such as the Super Bowl. Now, the deal also includes a social justice partnership.

VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN ANCHOR: Now, of course, there's this ongoing criticism of the NFL for its treatment of Colin Kaepernick, the former San Francisco 49ers quarterback has not played since the 2016 season when he launched this protest against police brutality spread across parts of the league, kneeling during the national anthem.

Let's bring in Carron Phillips, senior columnist for "The Shadow League".

You know, when a lot of people read it, it kind of made you squint and wait because there has to be more than what was announced based on what we know about Jay-Z's record and his criticisms of the NFL.

CARRON PHILLIPS, SENIOR COLUMNIST, THE SHADOW LEAGUE: Correct. It's like we're waiting for the other shoe to drop. There has to be something more. There has to be another press conference, more tweets, something from his team because everything about this doesn't feel right.

I've been giving him the side eye for the past couple days because this doesn't add up with his record and everything he's done for social justice. We've seen him hire lawyers for people, we've seen him be the voice, and if you throw in Beyonce, everything she's done as well.

BLACKWELL: Yes.

PHILLIPS: This is why all of this feels so funny, especially for someone -- if you're a music fan. I've been listening to Jay-Z. For over 20 years now. Everything about this just feels wrong. This is another entertainer, another rapper, another prolific celebrity --

BLACKWELL: For another professional sport. If he had done this with the NBA, it would be have been, OK.

PHILLIPS: But the NBA doesn't have all these problems.

BLACKWELL: Yes.

PHILLIPS: One reason we compare the NBA to the NFL, because the NBA gets a pass sometimes because the NFL keeps finding a way to fumble, if I can use a pun on this Sunday morning. But, you know, the NBA has gotten away with these things but they don't do things like this. It's always the NFL shooting themselves in the foot.

PAUL: There's an op-ed in "The Washington Post," and here's what she writes. What's the specific action he now says he recommends? Instead of talking about how to address social inequalities and police brutality, we're now discussing our dream super bowl halftime show rather than addressing the pain of so many mothers across the country, we're trying to understand the business decisions of billionaires. Obviously, dicey optics. Do we know what his plan is or do we have any indication he'll clarify

what that plan is if he's going to take both of these things on?

PHILLIPS: That's what we're hoping. We're hoping this is more than just a halftime show.

PAUL: But would you have expected some clarity by now?

PHILLIPS: I was hoping some clarity from the beginning. I was hoping when this news came out of nowhere, that meant Colin Kaepernick was getting a job. Tuesday night I watched HBO's "Hard Knocks" and I saw Nathan Peterman getting a chance with the Oakland Raiders. McCown is coming out of retirement with the Jets and everyone is getting a job and that guy who released a twitter video a year ago still isn't working.

But what was that, a year ago, Jay-Z was on with SNL with Kaepernick jersey. If you were really doing this deal to promote change, why isn't the guy who has become the face of social injustice still being unjustified, if that's a word?

BLACKWELL: Do we have a sound bite from "THE VAN JONES SHOW" in which Jay-Z talks about Colin Kaepernick? Do we have that available?

OK. Let's play it.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JAY-Z, RAPPER, ENTERPRENEUR: Would you rather be playing football, getting your head dinged in or would you rather be an iconic figure for the rest of your life? A job that -- I think people, again, we confuse the idea of having a job with fulfilling your purpose.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BLACKWELL: You know, we're still waiting for the purpose of this deal. You told our producers that the only way Jay-Z. Redeems himself with some people is if he buys a team, which there has been some top of and he makes Kaepernick the face of that team.

PHILLIPS: I remember watching this clip a couple days, as I've been having conversations with people, and in the moment when Jay-Z said that, we're like, wow, that's a good moment. Now you look back on it, that's a very problematic statement, because before that clip, that moment on that clip, they talked about comparing him to Muhammad Ali.

BLACKWELL: Yes.

PHILLIPS: Muhammad Ali was a face. You know, we know what he is. He also came back and fought after he lost and stripped of his title. Why can't Colin Kaepernick be the face of something and still play football? Jay-Z makes it seem like you have to do one or the other, where we're comparing to him to somebody who did both.

PAUL: So, what is the plausibility that he has a plan and he's going to use this for that plan to address what we're talking about today? [07:35:05] I mean, what is the plausibility of that? Maybe there's

more purpose to this than we know of.

PHILLIPS: I hope so.

PAUL: He's a businessman. He says, listen, I'm a business -- he says, I'm a business --

BLACKWELL: I'm not a businessman, I'm a business man.

PHILLIPS: Exactly.

BLACKWELL: Look at you with the Jay-Z lyrics this morning.

PHILLIPS: All the critics of his, I've never wanted to be more wrong in my life. I hope in 6 to 18 to 24 months I look really stupid and I have to come on TV or write some apology column and say, I'm sorry, Jay-Z. I would love for that to happen. But for right now I'm someone who says, when someone shows you who they are, believe him, even though this hasn't been him in the past, but right now if you look at everything, you add all the numbers up, this doesn't look right and feels very, very funny.

BLACKWELL: There's also the statement where he said, I think we've moved past kneeling. I think it's time for action. Some people don't think it's time to move past kneeling either.

PHILLIPS: It's very cringe-worthy.

BLACKWELL: All right. Carron Phillips, good to have you.

PHILLIPS: Thanks for having me.

PAUL: Thank you, Carron.

BLACKWELL: Coming up, growing concerns from scientists, nuclear weapons experts over the radioactive fallouts from a missile explosion off Russia's northern coast. We'll have that for you, next.

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[07:40:25] BLACKWELL: Well, this morning, there are some new concerns. This is over the fallout from an explosion in Russia that killed five nuclear experts.

PAUL: A U.S. official tells CNN the explosion was likely linked to a nuclear missile test code named Skyfall.

Here's CNN's Brian Todd.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Nuclear experts worry Vladimir Putin's government is now trying to cover up a deadly nuclear explosion in Russia, risking lives in order to avoid revealing military secrets. It began last Thursday after a mysterious explosion off Russia's

northern coast. The U.S. believes the blast came during the testing of a nuclear powered cruise missile. The Kremlin will only say some kind of liquid fuel ignited.

DARYL KIMBALL, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, ARMS CONTROL ASSOCIATION: I think the Russian State is going to try to maintain a brave face, they are trying to assure their public that there's absolutely no risk. I would not trust that.

TODD: Scientists warn a failed nuclear reactor inside that missile designed to help it fly thousands of miles through the sky could now be at the bottom of the sea. If, as Russian State media reported, the explosion occurred on a platform above the water. Scientists say the missile could have fallen in with tides, wind and rain factored in, they say, if this missile is leaking radioactive material in the water.

MICHAEL ELLEMAN, SENIOR FELLOW FOR MISSILE DEFENCE, THE INTERNATIONAL INSTITUTE FOR STRATEGIC STUDIES: Those that are down-current for long distances could be exposed to radioactivity. It would be very troubling and worrying if that were the case.

TODD: Russia's meteorological agency initially said radiation level spiked at 4 to 16 times above the norm before going down. But Russian military officials later told state media that no dangerous substances got into the air. Among the crucial questions being asked now, how far could any radiation have spread?

KIMBALL: In the air, it could spread hundreds of kilometers.

TODD: On Wednesday, the Russian military ordered a nearby village to be evacuated due to military drills; then quickly scrapped the order. American analysts say they are concerned that if some areas are not evacuated now, the people who live there could become very sick, even though they may not show the symptoms of radiation sickness immediately.

KIMBALL: How long people are exposed to that is a key factor and there may be health effects down the road, higher incidence of cancer.

TODD: Now, experts say western intelligence agencies are likely scrambling to see what kind of recovery teams the Russians are sending to that area off their northern coast and studying satellite images and communication intercepts to see how seriously they are treating the explosion.

One think-tank says that it has already seen a Russian nuclear transport ship on public satellite photos.

ELLEMAN: I would look for sniffer planes to obtain samples off the air to determine if there is any radioactive elements. I would also look for mother ships, recovery ships, submersibles, deep dive robotic equipment. That will tell you what they're trying to recover and at what depth. TODD (on camera): Another critical signal that experts say we should be watching out for is whether Vladimir Putin continues to try to develop this nuclear powered cruise missile. Experts are concerned that since he's tried to build at least one, that he might try to manufacture hundreds, maybe even thousands more, which they contend is a bad idea.

Multiple nuclear weapons experts have told us Putin should scrap this missile, that it's simply too dangerous.

Brian Todd, CNN, Washington.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

PAUL: Brian, thank you.

And take a look at this video.

(VIDEO CLIP PLAYS)

PAUL: Yes, that would scare me a little bit.

BLACKWELL: A little bit.

PAUL: Two kayakers in Alaska capturing the moment huge chunks of ice fell off that glacier.

BLACKWELL: So, they heard the cracking and then they saw they were being pelted with chunks of flying ice and water. I mean, they say they're fortunate to be alive.

Listen, it's a hot summer in Alaska. Well, hot for Alaska. Six of the last nine days have set record high temperatures in Anchorage.

PAUL: The thing like that, you just see a couple little chunks, you think you're all right. And then, all of a sudden, the whole thing is falling.

BLACKWELL: All of a sudden is the turning point in most stories that go wrong, all of a sudden. That really is the pivot in most things in life, all of a sudden.

PAUL: You know what, that's going to be the name of Victor's book. Don't anybody steal it. That is his.

BLACKWELL: That is fantastic. All of a sudden, the life and times of Victor Blackwell.

PAUL: I want some rights to that. I gave you the cover.

All right. A lot of people sounding the alarm over climate change, of course.

[07:45:02] Teenage activist Greta Thunberg, she's elevated the issue I'd say more than most, especially her age. BLACKWELL: Yes. And next month, she plans to address the U.N.'s

climate summit in New York and to get there, she's sailing across the Atlantic on a special yacht.

CNN's Lynda Kinkade has her story.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

LYNDA KINCAID, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Climate activist Greta Thunberg may be embarking upon her most challenging mission yet. The 16-year-old is sailing from the English coast to New York City to attend the U.N. climate summit in New York.

GRETA THUNBERG, ACTIVIST FOR CLIMATE CHANGE: I feel a bit seasick and it's not going to be comfortable, but that I can live with.

KINKADE: She's refusing to fly in order to make her voyage emissions- free. Instead, she'll spend about two weeks at sea. And the conditions she's prepared to live with, well she'll have to live with no toilet.

THUNBERG: We will have to do it in a buckets, but I mean that's fine.

KINKADE: There's also no running water. And here is where Greta will spend each night, makeshift sleeping quarters with curtains to create a sense of privacy.

THUNBERG: I don't see any problem with that, really. It's just -- and if it's really hard then, I just have to think it's only for two weeks. And then I can go back to as usual.

KINKADE: This is an old racing yacht, 60 feet long and equipped with sails. The Malizia II is also fitted with solar panels and underwater turbines that generate electricity. The 16-year-old has become a leading voice in the global campaign for action against global warming.

Before setting sail, Wednesday, Greta said she would ignore criticism from climate change skeptics, arguing that science was on her side.

THUNBERG: There are always going to be people who don't understand or don't accept the united science. And I mean, I will just ignore them because, I mean, I'm only acting and communicating on the science.

KINKADE: Greta is traveling with her father, a filmmaker, and two other crew members and plans to address the U.N. summit in New York, September 23rd.

Lynda Kinkade, CNN.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

PAUL: It will be interesting to see what that little girl does.

BLACKWELL: Yes, that's a commitment, though.

PAUL: Yes, what a start.

OK. Listen, we're talking about an all of a sudden moment.

BLACKWELL: All of a sudden.

PAUL: This is one of them and it is frightening, Coy.

COY WIRE, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: Yes, we can talk about this because the man is OK. But it's a risk every racer knows they face riding along the track and, all of a sudden, you're being thrown from your bike. Wait until you see the results.

BLACKWELL: First, a new study shows too much social media can hurt teenagers, especially, replacing healthy activities like sleep and exercise, which we all need.

Here's this week's "Staying Well".

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

MACK SAITZ, ACCOUNT EXECUTIVE: You know, social media took me down a really dark path. I got incredibly depressed off of the image society projects on us through the social media channels.

JEFF NALIN, PSYCHOLOGIST, PARADIGM TREATMENT CENTERS: The things that we see people come in with as a result of social media are things like getting depressed and hard on themselves or they have a tendency to get really anxious. There's a lot of studies that are starting to touch on this because the big problem is the emotional disconnection that when you're on social media more and connected more, theatrically, you feel more isolated.

SAITZ: I finally realized that I couldn't go more than 15, 20 minutes without checking my phone and seeing what was going on.

NALIN: One of the behavioral things we'll do with families here, an app that measures it or giving somebody real time frames, you know, alarms that go off.

Keeping things like this from getting out of control is about monitoring it, paying attention to it and talking about it. There's therapists. There's treatment centers.

Yes, you have to keep on top of it but it sounds like you're doing that.

SAITZ: You know, I'm trying. You know, I'm taking it one day at a time.

NALIN: And the most important thing is you're reconnecting or connecting with people on a real level.

It's good to see you in a different place.

SAITZ: It's good to be in a different place.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[07:53:20] BLACKWELL: Well, the NTSB is now investigating this plane crash from Thursday. Dale Earnhardt Jr. and his family were on board. He didn't go to the track this weekend. But a group of people who were at the scene, they did go to the race.

PAUL: Coy, what do you know happened?

WIRE: Yes. Well, Junior, first of all, he's been involved in a lot of crashes in his 22-year racing career, but this was different. He's there with his wife, his daughter, and they're escaping in the nick of time from this crash. Dale Jr. took time away from his announcing responsibility at the racing in Bristol, Tennessee, yesterday.

But the first responders who helped rescue the Earnhardts, they were there, along with the pilots from the crash. The Carter County, Tennessee sheriff's office posting photos of the group being at the race and enabling them to enjoy some time. Earnhardt and his wife and their 1-year-old daughter escaping from that fiery wreck on Thursday with only minor injuries.

All right. If you want to know what the baseball season has been like in a nutshell, it's this game. Brewers and Nationals in an absolute slugfest. They're calling it the year of the home run. Two teams combining for 11 homers in the game last night. They went back and forth, 14 innings, well past midnight, five hours and 42 minutes in all.

In fact, the game took so long that rock star Jack White left the game in the third inning to play a gig but came back to watch the end of it when he found out it was still going on. Brewers win 15-14.

OK. We're going to go to a terrifying moment at a motor cycle race in England. We want to tell you, the video is disturbing, but the rider is OK. This is Luke Mossey, cell phone video capturing the moment he's known from his bike.

[07:55:01] He flies past spectators. This is at a test run at Caldwell Park. Incredibly, he avoids being hit by another racer, suffering only a hairline fracture in his leg. He tweeted that he'll be back racing in a few weeks.

All right. We end with a little fun. At the Little League World Series, meet Poyetos (ph). Teammates call him "little chicken". This is Venezuela's Deivis Ordonez. He is squatting down to hide the strike zone for the pitcher.

He ends up scoring and dancing. He's been one of the great story lines of Little League World series so far. Many more to come that we'll share with you.

PAUL: Oh, I love to see that.

BLACKWELL: Go ahead and celebrate. PAUL: Coy, thank you.

So, listen, in this week's "Human Kindness" segment, there are two men in the U.S. Virgin Islands being called heroes because they dove into the water, they dive into the water to save a woman in a wheelchair who had rolled off the dock.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Good job.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hold on. Hold on.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Right there.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

PAUL: Virgin Islands Senator Kurt Vialet wrote about this incident on Facebook. Everyday heroes with unassuming personalities live among us. Job well done and thank you for your willingness to assist with this duty today.

Thank you. I love those examples.

BLACKWELL: Yes.

PAUL: That woman is probably alive because of them.

BLACKWELL: And moving so quickly to jump in and help. That could have been much worse.

PAUL: Yes, no doubt.

Thank you so much for spending time with us today. We hope you make good memories.

BLACKWELL: "INSIDE POLITICS" with John King is up after a quick break.

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