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Trump Accuses Google of Manipulating 2016 Vote, Insists Economy Doing "Tremendously Well"; Mother Remains Separated from Infant after Raid; Iran Warns U.S. Not to Interfere with Tanker; Bombings Rock Afghan City on Independence Day; Sudan's Ex-President on Trial; Trump Blasts Fed Chair for Horrendous Lack of Vision; U.S. Extends Huawei Reprieve but Broadens Blacklist; British Prime Minister Lays Out Position on Brexit Deal; NYPD Officer Accused In 2014 Fatal Choking Fired; Sargasso Sea Becoming A Plastic Death Trap. Aired 2-3a ET
Aired August 20, 2019 - 02:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ROSEMARY CHURCH, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): No recession, a defiant Donald Trump says the economy is doing just fine, despite the dire warnings from experts.
Plus Boris Johnson isn't backing down on Brexit as he sends a letter to the European Union over the disputed Irish border.
And we take a look at one sea completely overwhelmed by trash and how it is changing the wildlife there forever.
Hello and welcome to our viewers from all around the, world I'm Rosemary Church and this is CNN NEWSROOM
CHURCH: Well, U.S. president Donald Trump insists that his country's economy is doing "tremendously well since consumers are rich and loaded up with money," those were his words.
But many financial analysts say a recession may be looming, Kaitlan Collins reports if there is a downturn, Mr. Trump is signaling who he would blame.
KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): With the economy on his mind, President Trump is lashing out.
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I don't see a recession.
COLLINS: Claiming economists who have said a recession isn't happening now, but could be on the horizon, are wrong.
TRUMP: Most of them are saying we're not going to have a recession.
COLLINS: It is not just the president who is downplaying the pessimistic forecast. His own aides have convinced him the media is overplaying fears of an economic downturn.
KELLYANNE CONWAY, COUNSELOR TO THE PRESIDENT: It is nice to see the media finally cover the Trump economy. You seem to cover it only when you could use the Sesame Street of the word of the day, recession.
COLLINS: But as Trump claimed today on Twitter that the U.S. economy is the best in the world, he's also preparing a scapegoat just in case, blaming his hand-picked Federal Reserve chair, Jay Powell, claiming the Democrats are trying to will the economy into a recession and calling for a big federal rate cut, even though some experts say his trade policies are to blame.
Lately, Trump has turned to economic hard-liners like trade adviser Peter Navarro for advice, who disputed Sunday the bond market is flashing signs of a possible recession.
PETER NAVARRO, DIRECTOR, WHITE HOUSE OFFICE OF TRADE AND MANUFACTURING POLICY: That is not technically an inversion. It is a flat curve, which is a very weak signal of any possibility.
COLLINS: Navarro claiming the so-called yield curve inversion, which has preceded U.S. recessions for at least the last 40 years, isn't a good indicator, even though he's argued otherwise in his own books, claiming the curve is a powerful forecasting tool.
The economy isn't the only thing Trump is watching. He also lashed out at his former communications director after he claimed he's forming a coalition of ex-Cabinet members to speak out against Trump.
ANTHONY SCARAMUCCI, FORMER WHITE HOUSE COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR: I'm in the process of putting together a team of people that feel the exact same way that I do.
COLLINS: Trump attacking Anthony Scaramucci as a highly unstable nut job he barely knew.
Now as these concerns about a recession are heating up and the White House is continuing to downplay them, we should note that president's top economic adviser, Larry Kudlow, is slated to make a series of phone calls this week with business leaders, state officials, local officials to talk about the economy.
The White House says these calls were long planned before the concerns started to pop up over the last few weeks. But we should note that, of course, it is highly likely this subject comes up -- Kaitlan Collins, CNN, Washington.
CHURCH: So let's get more on all of this with Eswar Prasad. He is a senior fellow with the Brookings Institution and a professor of trade policy at Cornell University. Good to have you with us.
ESWAR PRASAD, BROOKINGS INSTITUTION: My pleasure.
CHURCH: So President Trump and his advisers have been denying a recession is on the horizon despite major red flags signaling trouble ahead. But now we learned that the White House is thinking of a --
CHURCH: -- payroll tax cut is a part of early discussions and White House officials have not yet decided whether they'll push Congress to approve these measures.
So what is the best way to help a slowing economy?
What should the White House be considering?
How big a role should a trade deal with China play?
PRASAD: They question as to why growth is slowing down, in the second quarter of 2019, growth slowed down to about 2 percent compared to 3 percent in the first quarter. Consumer spending actually held up really well.
What really slowed down was business investment so the problem is that businesses that have a lot of cash are not investing because they see a lot of uncertainty on the horizon because of trade tensions, because of political disputes between Congress and the White House and much broader uncertainty on the economy.
Given the economy a small boost with a payroll tax cut would end up adding to the budget deficit but won't add to growth in a durable way.
CHURCH: President Trump's aides have convinced him that the media is overplaying fears of an economic downturn and that economists and Democrats saying a recession is coming are wrong.
Let's take another look at Mr. Trump's tweet from Monday.
"Our economy is very strong despite the horrendous lack of vision by Jay Powell and the Fed but the Democrats are trying to will the economy to be bad for purposes of the 2020 election. Very selfish! Our dollar is so strong that it is sadly hurting other parts of the world. The Fed rate over a fairly short period of time should be reduced by at least 100 basis points with perhaps some quantitative easing as well.
"If that happened, our economy would be even better and the world economy would be greatly and quickly enhanced. Good for everyone."
So the president wants the Federal Reserve to fix everything.
What do you say to all of that as an economist, what stands out to you in that tweet?
I mean he raised a lot of issues but what are the main points there for you?
PRASAD: It's a lot easier for an administration to get the Fed to do their bidding instead of doing the hard work that is necessary in terms of tamping down the uncertainties that are bedeviling businesses and keeping businesses from investing.
Certainly reducing the cost of borrowing, which would happen if the interest rates would provide a short-term boost to consumer spending, to business investment but it is not that businesses really need cash, a lot of big businesses have a lot of cash on hand but they're not ready to invest because of these uncertainties.
So it is sort of easy to pass the blame onto the Fed and argue that it is the Fed that is holding back this economy from very strong growth. But there are signs that something that something more than monetary policy by the Fed is going to be necessary to get the growth back on track.
And the White House clearly would want to spin a different narrative on this.
CHURCH: So when you listen to what is being discussed by President Trump and his advisers and what we believe is happening with his payroll tax cut, are you confident that this could get the country back on track?
That is what I'm seeming to hear from you.
PRASAD: It will help a little bit at the margins. But especially if it is seen as a one-off, one-shot deal rather than as part of a broader package, it's not going to have much of an effect.
Now one point that should be made is that the U.S. economy relative to the rest is looking reasonably good, the labor market performance continues to be very strong. The unemployment rate is still under 4 percent. It has been at that level for a long period.
The economy is still generating a decent number of jobs every month so one could make the case that the boom is not quite here yet. But what we economists are really concerned about is that if actions are not taken now and good actions to support growth rather than a sugar boost through a payroll tax cut or through Fed interest rate hikes.
Then you don't get a long-term employment growth and productivity growth and for that you need business investment picking up and business investment has actually contracted in the last quarter and that's not a good sign for long-term growth.
CHURCH: All right, we thank you, Eswar Prasad, for your analysis, always good to hear from you, thank you so much.
PRASAD: Thank you.
CHURCH: Well, the U.S. president may be trying to distract from the ominous economic signals with another conspiracy theory. Mr. Trump --
CHURCH: -- tweeted that Google manipulated the votes for Hillary Clinton in the 2016 election. He claimed that made his victory even bigger but there is a no basis in fact for this.
The president's theory comes from disputed congressional testimony last month. It received little attention then but it appeared on FOX Business Monday. CNN's Daniel Dale spoke with Chris Cuomo on how the president has it wrong.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DANIEL DALE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Even the study's author says that the president didn't describe the study correctly. What the study's author says is that he has no evidence that anything was manipulated, search results or votes themselves.
What he says and this is disputed, is that Google's - Google's search results showed bias, a pro-Clinton bias during the 2016 --
CHRIS CUOMO, CNN HOST: Meaning what?
DALE: -- campaign.
So, what he says is that he got a bunch of people, basically random Americans, to Google various election-related things. And he says that the first page of the Google results were more pro-Clinton on Google than there were on other websites.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CHURCH: Other research experts have questioned the methodology and conclusions of the Google study.
Well, a mother in the southern U.S. remains in U.S. custody after an immigration raid earlier this month. The family is pleading for her to be released so she can breastfeed her infant and care for her other children. Dianne Gallagher has her story.
DIANNE GALLAGHER, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): A father trying to quiet the cry of his 4-month-old daughter with a bottle. She's not used to it, but her mother isn't there to breastfeed.
Maria Domingo-Garcia was one of the 680 people detained on August 7th during immigration raids at food processing plants throughout Mississippi. Almost two weeks later, she's still being held at a Louisiana facility some 200 miles from home.
This video from "The Clarion Ledger" in Jackson, Mississippi, shows Domingo-Garcia's husband, who requested anonymity because he too is undocumented, with her three U.S. citizen children, all trying to cope with her absence. Her attorney tells CNN that she's from Guatemala but has been living in the United States for the past 11 years. RAY YBARRA MALDONADO, ATTORNEY: You know, no criminal history whatsoever. She's eligible for relief from removal called cancelation of deportation. Why not just release her? And we've offered, we'll pay a bond. Tell us the amount you want and we'll pay it today so we can get her home.
GALLAGHER: More than 300 of the people arrested in the raids were released with court dates in the first 48 hours. Many of them for what officials called humanitarian purposes like single parents, pregnant or nursing mothers.
ICE spokesman Brian Cox says all detainees received health screenings that would include asking a woman if she is currently breastfeeding.
Cox said he couldn't talk about medical information without a signed waiver, but noted communication between Domingo-Garcia's lawyers and an ICE representative, who says she responded "No," when asked if she was breastfeeding. Her attorney says she was never asked.
MALDONADO: ICE knows about it now, too. And instead of taking issue and addressing it, doing something about it, releasing her, they just continue to say, well, she didn't say it when we first talked to her, so we're not going to let her go.
GALLAGHER: Meanwhile, the first federal charges related to those raids have been filed. They're against 41 of the workers who the government says were in the country illegally. There are still no charges against any of the company owners or managers.
Search warrant affidavits unsealed the day after the raids show the government believe the companies knew they were hiring undocumented workers, citing videotape conversations and tips from confidential informants, in addition to other physical evidence. The U.S. attorney's office maintains a criminal investigation is still ongoing.
CHURCH: And that was our Dianne Gallagher.
For months, a U.S. Democratic senator has blasted the Trump administration for the way it treats the children of undocumented immigrants in the United States. He spoke to CNN's Anderson Cooper about his frustrations.
SEN. JEFF MERKLEY (D-OR): Hundreds of children over this past year separated from their parents for things like, well, this parent had a DUI for example or things would never separate a child from a parent.
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: Even -- I think if a parent is -- their assessment was HIV positive, they will separate.
MERKLEY: They are looking for a whole series of minor excuses, but they're doing other things.
COOPER: And some of these kids may never be reunited.
MERKLEY: Well, yes.
COOPER: I mean, the system is just so -- the fact that the bad record keeping on, it's not only done badly -- maybe wrong, but it's done badly.
MERKLEY: When I first went down there, the officials on the boarder said we know exactly where the kids are, the parents are, how to connect them. That was repeated by all the officials of the cabinet, wasn't true. They had no system set up. You had to wonder how much was callousness, how much was incompetence, maybe a combination of both because they keep coming back to this theory to inflict trauma.
If this was done by any other country, we would be putting on sanctions, we'd be holding hearings --
MERKLEY: -- we'd be saying what happen to that country, but it's with our taxpayer money on our land with our government and nobody can stop it except for us.
CHURCH: That was Democratic senator Jeff Merkley talking to our Anderson Cooper.
Hong Kong's embattled leader says she wants dialogue after another weekend of mass demonstrations. Carrie Lam says she hopes Sunday's largely nonviolent protest can lead to peace in a city rocked by unrest.
She also says there are no plans to revive the extradition bill that triggered them. But she has said this before. And demonstrators want this completely withdrawn, they also want Lam's resignation and for now it looks like she is staying put.
So let's bring in CNN's Paula Hancocks, she joins us live from Hong Kong.
So Carrie Lam is also calling for dialogue but she has previously said there was no one particular leader of the protest that she could meet with, so where is all this going?
PAULA HANCOCKS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Rosemary, she did say a few hours ago that she wanted some kind of platform of dialogue, she wanted to talk to the people. She didn't specify talking to the protesters but she did say that she was ready to open some kind of dialogue.
Of course what protesters want to hear is a few more details about what exactly that entails. And also one of the main claims and chants that we heard over the weekend over these massive protests was the protesters wanted an independent investigation into what they believe is excessive police force. The police and Carrie Lam deny this so what they have been talking
about this Tuesday morning is there will be this fact finding survey, she says there will be overseas experts that will be part of it, she said that it will be independent.
But it is part of the IPCC, the police complaints council, so it is very unlikely to be enough to quell the protesters' demands, here is what one protest leader had to say.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
WONG YIK MO, ORGANIZER, CIVIC HUMAN RIGHTS FRONT: Hong Kong needs a mechanism that can ensure Democratic election so that citizens could elect a chief executive that can represent the people and also listen to voices of the people. And we do not need a platform for a dialogue in which the high officials could laugh and waste our time, waste our money.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HANCOCKS: So it's hard to see what the chief exec said will have any impact on these protests.
CHURCH: So while moves are afoot to start some form of dialogue whatever that may be, whatever are protesters planning as their next move?
HANCOCKS: Well, there are still protests planned over the next few weeks and we are expecting once again many people to come out on the weekend. Just on Sunday organizers said they had 1.7 million of people on the streets and police put the figure in Victoria Park and the main part of the protest just 128,000.
But there were many people apart from that area so we can't independently confirm either number. But there were massive crowds and peaceful. So that is expected to continue at this point. There seems to be no plans to do anything different.
The chants and the demands still remain for these protesters; they want the independent inquiry, they want to see more universal suffrage, they want to see this bill not just shelved but they want to see the extradition bill completely withdrawn because there is very little trust between the protesters and the government.
So even though Carrie Lam may say she's not going to revive this bill, unless it is completely withdrawn, the protesters don't seem to trust what she is saying, that trust between protesters and police and government has broken down to some extent -- Rosemary.
CHURCH: All right, many thanks to Paula Hancocks, appreciate that.
We will take a short break and still to come, two countries, two tankers, one warning, Tehran tells the U.S. stay away from our ship, we are inside Iran.
And Monday was Afghanistan's independence day but one city had very little to celebrate. What we are learning about a new string of attacks in just a moment.
CHURCH: Iran is warning the U.S. not to interfere with an Iranian oil tanker recently freed from British authorities. Iran says the ship left Gibraltar Sunday and is now on the move. It is now believed to be headed towards Greece.
Observers are now watching to see if Iran will release a British flagged tanker that it captured. Clarissa Ward reports on how these latest tensions with the West are playing out in Iran.
CLARISSA WARD, CNN CHIEF INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): This is the city of Qom, home to one of the holiest sites in Iran, it is deeply conservative, a bastion of support for the country's supreme leader.
Ali Reza Bander is a lawyer and cleric. He supported Iran's seizure of a British oil tanker and says he does not trust the West at all.
ALI REZA BANDER, IRANIAN LAWYER AND CLERIC: This is your culture that you say that tit for tat. No, you captured our ship. We captured your ship.
WARD (on camera): Do you think the people here in Iran, they want to see a war with the United States?
BANDER: You know, the people of Iran believe in their leaders. Our leader Ayatollah Khamenei has said we don't like war, but we are ready for war.
WARD: Do you have a message for President Trump?
BANDER: Mr. Donald Trump, you are -- you know, you are an unpredictable person. You are a liar. You have lied more than 2,000 lies during your short time of presidency, so you are dangerous. Of course you are dangerous and we don't believe -- and we don't trust in you.
WARD (on camera): But even in the bazaars of cosmopolitan Tehran, opposition to Iran's leaders is much more common; 46-year-old Nasar tells us people feel betrayed by the West following the collapse of the nuclear deal.
NASAR, IRANIAN CITIZEN: But they didn't do what they signed but everything we signed, we did that, we don't have any problem with that.
WARD: So do you feel it's unfair?
NASAR: Yes, exactly, it's unfair for Iran.
WARD: Here there are people closely watching to see if the Iranians decides to release the British tanker that is being held here at this port city. So far no indication as to when that might happen.
But again, it doesn't seem to matter who you talk to; most people feel a strong sense of conviction that Iran was in the right to seize the tanker -- Clarissa Ward, CNN, Qom, Iran.
CHURCH: Afghanistan's independence day festivities were rocked by a series of bombings --
CHURCH: -- in the city of Jalalabad on Monday. Authorities say 10 bombs hit restaurants and markets wounding at least 17 people. It happened as people outdoors were celebrating the holiday and so far there has been no claim of responsibility.
Those bombings come just days after a suicide attack in Kabul, where a wedding suddenly became a scene of horror, the carnage has now been cleaned from the wedding hall where at least 63 people were killed and 182 were injured. The bride and groom survived the bombing but say their lives have been destroyed.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MIRWAIS ELMI, GROOM (through translator): The only wish for the groom is to be happy. But they took my happiness away. A person has two important nights in life, the night of the wedding and the night he dies.
I don't care. Even if peace comes, my life is destroyed. And I lost many of my friends and relatives. All the victims were my relatives. We have buried almost 25 victims in one place.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CHURCH: ISIS has claimed responsibility for that attack but has provided no evidence to back that up.
A stunning sight in Sudan that many never expected to see, the country's former president, Omar al-Bashir, sitting in a court cage dressed in white as he faces corruption related charges.
And CNN has learned about a failed jailbreak ahead of Bashir's first day in court. Loyalists to the 75-year-old tried to free him in June, according to a police statement seen by CNN. Nima Elbagir has more.
NIMA ELBAGIR, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: It was a day of extraordinary symbolism, a day many Sudanese believed would never come. A day in which their former leader stood in court and answered Omar Hassan al-Bashir when asked his name and when asked his current residence, Kobar Prison, one of the country's most notorious prisons where the former president had sentenced many of his former political opponents.
It was also a day of startling revelation including the revelation that tens of millions of dollars in hard currency had been found in many of al-Bashir's palaces.
The defense told CNN that this was simply a gift from the heir to the Saudi throne, among others, Mohammad bin Salman, a gift that could not have been turned down, they say, without causing a diplomatic incident.
And so, they tell us the president chose to hold on to these gifts and distribute them amongst the poor. The court also heard that a member of the Abu Dhabi ruling family also gave Omar al-Bashir a so-called gift.
The defense says that they have witnesses to all of these gifts and that these witnesses will be brought in front of the court in due time.
For many Sudanese this has been an extraordinary few days, the weekend saw a deal between those of the military apparatus that helped al- Bashir rule the country and civilian protesters to bring about a new government in a new era.
But if this was big on symbolism Sudanese are waiting to see if it actually matters on the ground. There are still three years and three months of a proposed transition period to go before they will be allowed to experience free and fair elections. And for many Sudanese they say that can't come soon enough -- Nima Elbagir, CNN, London.
CHURCH: We will take another short break. Still to come, Boris Johnson sends his Brexit wish list to Brussels nearly one month after becoming Britain's prime minister. So far no reply from the E.U. We are live from London next.
[02:30:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
ROSEMARY CHURCH, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: Welcome back, everyone, I'm Rosemary Church, want to update you now on the main stories we've been following this hour.
U.S. President Donald Trump is deflecting warnings of a recession with a tweet saying the economy is very strong. He said that's despite what he called the horrendous lack of vision by Fed chair, Jay Powell. He also attacked Democrats for trying to will the economy to be bad.
The U.S. government has announced some relief for Huawei. American companies now have 90 extra days to do limited business with the Chinese tech company, but at the same time, the U.S. added dozens of Huawei affiliates to an export blacklist.
Donald Trump is urging India and Pakistan to tone down the rhetoric over the disputed cashmere region. He spoke with both countries' leaders on Monday. India announced earlier this month, it was stripping autonomy from the region, provoking a harsh reaction from Pakistan.
Well, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson is laying out his position on the Brexit deal in no uncertain terms, ahead of meetings this week with the French and German leaders. He wrote a letter to the E.U. council president, saying the current provision on the northern border known as the backstop, is anti-democratic.
And he told the Irish prime minister on the phone that an alternative solution is needed. CNN'S Nina dos Santos has more.
NINA DOS SANTOS, CNN EUROPE EDITOR: One day after an embarrassing leak of the confidential government memo, highlighting the risks of a no deal Brexit, Boris Johnson was back on the road, this time, in the southwest of England, where he used the opportunity of talking to news crews to send a message to Brussels.
And that was namely that his predecessor, Theresa May's withdrawal deal was out of the window, it was time for fresh report, otherwise, the U.K. would be leaving either way on October the 31st.
BORIS JOHNSON, PRIME MINISTER, UNITED KINGDOM: I'm afraid, very much, up to our friends and I hope that they will compromise, that they have seen that the U.K. parliament has three times rejected the withdrawal agreement, the backstop. It just doesn't work. It's not democratic. I hope that they will see fit to compromise. But, in the meantime, we get ready to come out on October the 31st.
DOS SANTOS: Well, the Labour leader, Jeremy Corbyn, has wasted no time even though parliament is on recess on its summer holidays, he has been campaigning for a new general election, saying that this is the only way to get past the current Brexit impasse.
In the meantime, what he says he is proposing is a vote of no- confidence in Boris Johnson's tenure and he's encouraging members of other parties and rebels, even, from the Conservative Party to support him as a caretaker government before calling a snap election and then, eventually, a second referendum on Brexit.
JEREMY CORBYN, LEADER OF THE LABOUR PARTY: After failing to negotiate a Brexit deal that would protect jobs and living standards, Boris Johnson's Tory's are driving the country towards a no-deal cliff edge. Let's be very clear, we will do everything necessary to stop a disastrous no deal for which this government has no mandate.
DOS SANTOS: Well, either way, a group of about 100 members of parliament from various different parties who are determined to try and stop a no-deal Brexit, have written to the speaker of the House of Commons, urging him to recall members of parliament from their summer recess to try and find some way through the current Brexit impasse.
[02:35:12] But there are less than 80 days to go before the U.K. does leave the E.U. And number 10, in its current tenure, has made it very clear that they're ready for a no-deal Brexit. Nina dos Santos, CNN, outside Downing Street.
CHURCH: All right. So, let's go live now to London, where I'm joined by John Rentoul, chief political commentator for the Independent and visiting professor at King's College in London. Thanks for being with us.
JOHN RENTOUL, CHIEF POLITICAL COMMENTATOR, THE INDEPENDENT (via Skype): Hi there.
CHURCH: All right. So, what is likely to come out of Boris Johnson's meetings with Macron and Merkel, particularly on the tricky issue of the Irish border and why would he expect anything different the reception his predecessor, Theresa May, receives?
RENTOUL: Very good question, Rosemary. The reason that he'd expected different outcome, I suppose would be, because this time, fellow European leaders are convinced that Boris Johnson really means it. That he is actually intending to take us out of the European Union without a deal.
Now, that is going to be -- that's going to cause some economic disruption and it's going to create a hard border in Ireland. And the whole point about what you call the backstop, they guarantee of an open border in Ireland, is that it's trying to avoid that very outcome, so he's hoping that that paradox will force Angela Merkel and Emmanuel Macron to compromise.
CHURCH: Any indication that that is possible?
RENTOUL: No, not at all, I mean, the European position is completely adamant that, you know, the principles of the European Union must be upheld, and they are not moving, but I mean, Boris Johnson's calculations is that they won't move until the very last moment. And so, we're still in this extraordinary position, really, of -- well, I call it a trilemma because there are three possible outcomes. We keep cycling between each of them.
We could leave with a deal, we could leave without a deal, or we could just postpone leaving altogether again, and probably this time, we would have to have a general election after that. And nobody knows which of those three outcomes we are going to hear, when we get to the 31st of October.
CHURCH: And no matter what, whoever is in this position, is going to be confronting exactly the same challenge as Boris Johnson has discovered himself, so Johnson told the Irish prime minister that an alternative solution to the Irish border backstop that had to be found, but that's apparently not going to happen from what we are seeing right now. And despite his letter to the E.U. council president, so is a no-deal Brexit, do you think, when you look at this, or do you think that Boris is just trying to use this as a scare tactic?
RENTOUL: Well, no. He is serious about it. I think it only works as a scare tactic if you are prepared to go through with it, which is why a no-deal Brexit is a very real possibility, no it's possibly the most likely outcome at the moment. But, I mean, who knows?
I mean, as I say, the very threat of a no-deal Brexit could force the E.U. to agree a deal, a different deal from the Theresa May deal at the last moment, or it could force the U.K. parliament to unite against Boris Johnson and to force a postponement with Brexit again.
That is more difficult than M.P.s thought, it's more difficult than I thought it would be, because the opponents of a no-deal Brexit don't seem to be able to agree among themselves on their tactic.
CHURCH: Yes. I mean, that has been the problem all along, hasn't it? And recently leaked confidential government documents forecasted is a disastrous outcome, if there is a no-deal Brexit with food and fuel shortages likely.
But the U.K. government says well, that's just a worst-case scenario, is that -- is that supposed to be some, sort of, comfort to anyone, given E.U. leaders are saying the U.K. will be the losers in the no- deal Brexit, I mean the signals are there that it's not going to be a great outcome for anyone there.
RENTOUL: No, it isn't. And Boris Johnson half admit that. I mean, he says he would much prefer to have some kind of deal, at the lost moment. And it's not just bad for the U.K., a no-deal Brexit will be very bad for Ireland, as well, and that's the -- that's the complication because the E.U. says it wants to protect Ireland, and it wants to preserve an open border on the island of Ireland.
But, if there is a no deal Brexit, then Ireland will suffer too. Now, that is the pressure that Boris Johnson is trying to apply on the E.U. for a last-minute concession. Now, whether that will work, I don't know, I mean, the E.U. tends not to -- tends not to move until the last moment, but you know, sometimes it doesn't even move then.
I mean, Greece, for example, found that out in 2015, you know, it tried to secure better terms for its bailout and it failed.
[02:40:14] CHURCH: So you see a no-deal Brexit as the most likely outcome, what impact do you think, I mean, just putting those documents aside, that apparently revealed worst-case scenario, what do you think it will be like, in Britain, after a no-deal Brexit?
RENTOUL: I think -- I mean -- I think it's -- it wouldn't be the end of the world, is the phrase that Theresa May used to use. It would be -- it would be disruptive, but we are, you know, a rich advanced country. There would obviously be specific problems with medicines in particular. And there'll be, you know, a holdup at the Dover-Calais crossing, but I mean, a lot of that depends on the attitude of the French authorities, I mean, if they want to make it difficult for us, and they could do so. But, you know, I would hope they wouldn't.
I think -- I think a no-deal Brexit would not be -- not be great, but it would -- it would be survivable, but it's the sort of thing that everybody wants to avoid.
CHURCH: High stakes tactics we'll see what comes after the meetings between Boris Johnson and the French and German leaders. John Rentoul, always a pleasure to chat with you, many thanks.
RENTOUL: My pleasure.
CHURCH: Well, the first two Muslim women in the U.S. Congress, blasted President Trump and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu after their trip to Israel and the Palestinian territories was blocked.
Israel barred llhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib, over this report of a boycott of Israel to end its occupation of the West Bank. Tlaib was later granted entry to visit her grandmother, but declined, citing conditions Israel placed on her entry.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. RASHIDA TLAIB (D-MI): I spoke to my family and I think my grandmother said it beautiful when she said I'm her asfour. Asfour in Arabic means, her bird. And she said I'm her dream manifested. I am her free bird, so why would I come back and be caged and bow down, when my election rolls her head up high, gave her dignity for the first time.
And so, through tears at 3:00 in the morning, we all decided as a family, that I could not go until I was a free American United States congresswoman coming there, not only to see my grandmother, but to talk to Palestinian and Israeli organizations that believed that my grandmother deserved human dignity as much as anyone else does.
REP. ILHAN OMAR (D-MI): We know Donald Trump would love nothing more than to use this issue to pit Muslims and Jewish Americans against each other. The Muslim community and the Jewish community are being othered and made into the bogeyman by this administration.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CHURCH: The congresswomen are urging their colleagues to visit the region as part of congressional oversight on $3 billion in foreign aid.
We'll take a short break here. Still to come, Eric Garner's death was a key moment in the Black Lives Matter Movement, but the police officer who put him in a chokehold, didn't face criminal charges, why that could change, we'll have a look at that.
And we head to the Indonesian province of West Papua, to see what's behind the violent protests there, we're back in just a moment.
[02:46:16] CHURCH: The death of Eric Garner sparked outrage here in the United States. And became a key moment in the Black Lives Matter movement.
The video showed Garner, being choked and force to the ground by police in 2014. The officer who put Garner in the chokehold has avoided criminal charges. But, he has just been fired. CNN's Brynn Gingras has the details. A warning though, parts of her report are graphic.
JAMES O'NEILL, POLICE COMMISSIONER, NEW YORK CITY: This is clear that Daniel Pantaleo can no longer effectively serve as a New York City police officer.
BRYNN GINGRAS, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: More than five years after the death of Eric Garner.
ERIC GARNER, DIED AFTER A CHOKEHOLD BY DANIEL PANTALEO: I can't breathe. I can't breathe.
GINGRAS: The NYPD is firing one of its own.
O'NEILL: This was not an easy decision. It's not something that I could makeover a few hours. And I've been -- I've been thinking about this since the day I was sworn in as police commissioner.
GINGRAS: An internal NYPD investigation found grave misconduct by Officer Daniel Pantaleo. That report which factored in the commissioner's decision characterized Pantaleo use of force in Garner's arrest as reckless and a gross deviation from the standard of conduct.
A federal investigation and grand jury proceedings began against Pantaleo in 2014. No charges were filed in either case.
Tonight, Garner's family is praising the NYPD's decision but says this isn't the end.
EMERALD SNIPES GARNER, DAUGHTER OF ERIC GARNER: I thank you for doing the right thing. I truly, and sincerely thank you for firing the officer. Regardless of how you came up to your decision, you finally made a decision that should have been made five years ago.
We will be going for the congressional hearings. We will be trying to reopen the case. We will be going after the rest of the officers involved because it's not over.
GINGRAS: Pantaleo attorney says, he will appeal the firing.
STUART LONDON, ATTORNEY FOR DANIEL PANTALEO: Obviously, he is disappointed, upset, but has a lot of strength. We're looking for him to get his job back.
GINGRAS: Garner was approached by Pantaleo and other officers for allegedly selling loose cigarettes in July 2014. The arrest was caught on camera sparking citywide protests as people took to the streets using Garner's last words as their rallying cry.
AMERICAN CROWD: And I can't breathe. You can't breathe.
CHURCH: and Garner's mother spoke at a rally Monday. She made it clear, the officer's firing was not enough.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GWEN CARR, MOTHER OF ERIC GARNER: Daniel Pantaleo, you may have lost your job. But I lost the son. I lost my son. You cannot replace that. You can get another job, maybe at Burger King.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CHURCH: Garner's mother says, she would also like the NYPD to fire the other officers on the scene when her son died.
Well, thousands of protesters in the volatile Indonesian province of West Papua have set fire to a local parliament building and blocked roads, after allegations of police discrimination against a group of students.
Our Lynda Kinkade, reports.
LYNDA KINKADE, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: Tear gas fills the streets of Indonesia's West Papua province as thousands of protesters run for cover from riot police.
The enraged crowds have blocked roads and set fire to the parliament building and local stores which billow out black smoke, a symbol of the simmering tensions that grip this volatile region of the country.
The unrest began on Saturday on the island of Java, during a holiday marking Indonesia's independence from Dutch colonial rule. Police were initially called to investigate an incident where students were accused of throwing the country's flag into a ditch.
Activists say the officers began to call the students racist names which sparked the riots which soon spread to other provinces.
[02:50:04] D.H. WIRANTO, COORDINATING MINISTER FOR POLITICAL, LEGAL AND SECURITY AFFAIRS (through translator): The government regrets the incident regarding the Indonesian flag which is under investigation. The incident was followed by negative statements and triggered violent movements that were disrupting the nation's unity.
KINKADE: The government says the protests are under control. That there are reports of skirmishes in other parts of the country. As the latest flare-up in the true provinces of Papua and West Papua, where a separatist movement is festered for decades.
Areas that are heavily militarized were complaints of rights abuses by Indonesian forces of frequent, and where anger is increasingly difficult to contain. Lynda Kinkade. CNN.
CHURCH: It has been a haven for marine life, but these Sargasso Sea is fast becoming an ocean garbage patch. We dive into the dirty deep blue. That is next.
CHURCH: Parts of northern India remain on high alert due to the threat of more deadly weather. Government officials say, at least, 38 people have died since Saturday in monsoon triggered flooding and landslides.
Rising waters are threatening dozens of villagers. Disaster management officials in the state of Punjab, says, at least 65 villagers have been evacuated. Another 23,000 people are being told to leave the area.
Well, the second major fire this month has forced thousands to flee their homes in Spain's Canary Islands. More than 600 firefighters have been deployed, but strong gusting winds and high temperatures are making for difficult work.
The fire started over the weekend, and so far, has left more than 10,000 hectares blackened.
The Sargasso Sea in the North Atlantic Ocean is fast becoming a new plastic deathtrap as microplastics mix with algae that provides a habitat for marine life. CNN's Arwa Damon traveled to an area which Greenpeace study flagged as microplastic hotspot.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I see more there. OK, good to go.
ARWA DAMON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: It is humbling to be out in the deep blue, hundreds of miles from land. We're in the Sargasso Sea, named after sargassum, a free-floating seaweed dubbed the Atlantic golden rainforest.
Under the cloud-like mats, there is an unexpected array of biodiversity. But along with our awe is also the shocking realization of what we are doing to it.
In one little chunk, look at all that.
There are also tinier pieces hard to see, but everywhere.
You find little pieces like this throughout. I have to say, I was quite struck by the pieces that you actually can see and how much of it is located down there.
Each time we got into the water, we found countless plastic pieces, all different shapes, and sizes. Most plastic is not dumped directly into the ocean. Much of what you see has been discarded on land, traveling thousands of miles, and breaking up along the way.
The Sargasso Sea in the North Atlantic is the world's only body of water without shores. It's defined by the currents of the North Atlantic gyre, currents that also carry with them are plastic filth, making it one of the five ocean garbage patches.
[02:55:20] UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Get gold!
ALEXANDRA GULICK, MARINE BIOLOGIST: I think this one is a good one to do first.
NOREEN CONSTANT, MARINE CONSTANT: Wow, there's big plastic in that pile.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK, we're good.
DAMON: Alexandra Gulick and Noreen Constant are marine biologists.
GULICK: Oh, these are bite marks, like animals taking bites.
DAMON: Really? Out of the plastic?
GULICK: Yes, you can tell these are fish because they're little half circles.
DAMON: The sargassum provides a habitat for baby turtles, and fish, shrimp, plus hundreds of other marine organisms. In the oceans, degrading plastic becomes even more poisonous as it binds with other man-made chemical pollutants.
All that toxicity ends up in the digestive systems of marine life and travels up the food chain, all the way to our dinner plates.
Onboard the Esperanza, Amanda Trawl collects water samples, part of a Greenpeace study into microplastics in this remote body of water, and its broader campaign for a global oceans treaty.
You can see quite a bit of plastic already just when it's in here. Has this been fairly common in most of the samples that have been coming up?
CELIA OJEDA, MARINE BIOLOGIST: Yes, in most of the samples that we have been sampling, while there was sargassum in the sample, we have seen a lot of plastics, because -- I think because they get entangled in the sargassum.
DAMON: The initial results of this study are alarming. In its samples, Greenpeace found similar or greater concentrations of microplastic to what they found in the notorious Great Pacific garbage patch last year.
OJEDA: We need to change our consumption, our patterns, the way we ruin the planet, the way we do things.
DAMON: You have a son.
DAMON: When you see the way things are now, are you worried about his future?
OJEDA: Yes, I am, a lot. Because I think with this and with climate change, what are we leaving them? It's insane.
DAMON: Being out this far from land, you can't help but be struck by how interconnected our world is, and how destructive we are being to marine ecosystems. And with that, also to ourselves.
Arwa Damon, CNN, in the Sargasso Sea.
CHURCH: And thanks for joining us. I'm Rosemary Church. I'll be back with more news in just a moment. Do stay with us.