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George Pell Loses Appeal Against Conviction for Child Sex Abuse; Italy's Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte Resigns; E.U. Unconvinced by Johnson's Bid to Remove Irish Backstop; Trump Touts Economy but Payroll Tax Discussion Reveals Recession Fears; Trump Cools on Background Check Push; Tightening of Hong Kong-Mainland Border Security; Elton John Defends Prince Harry & Meghan's Vacation; Paul Pogba Targeted by Online Racist Abuse; Mohamed Salah Weighs in on VAR. Aired 12-1a ET
Aired August 21, 2019 - 00:00 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): A new political crisis for Europe as Italy's prime minister quits and warns of a financial spiral.
President Trump cancels a trip to Denmark and admits he's considering a new tax cut as the White House tries to boost the U.S. economy amid recession fears.
Plus, Pell's appeal shot down. The most senior Catholic cleric ever convicted of child sex abuse will stay in prison.
Hello and welcome to our viewers joining us from all around the world, I'm Rosemary Church and you're watching CNN NEWSROOM.
CHURCH: We begin with political upheaval and a migrant crisis in Italy. On the island of Lampedusa migrants have been disembarking. Nearly 100 people have been stranded at sea for weeks with land in their sights. On Tuesday, an Italian court ruled their ship must be allowed to dock.
The medical staff says the health and hygiene situation on board was becoming dire. This as a showdown between Spanish rescue group helping migrants and a government in Rome. In the Italian capital, the prime minister has stepped out. Giuseppe Conte had been locked in a power struggle with his deputy and interior minister. Matteo Salvini who is seen here on the left, pulled his party out of the ruling coalition and was pushing for snap elections.
Italy's president must determine whether a new majority government could be formed or whether parliament must be dissolved. The outgoing prime minister warned of grave consequences.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GIUSEPPE CONTE, OUTGOING ITALIAN PRIME MINISTER (through translator): The decision to post the communication of a decision evidently taken some time ago and I regret to say it with such clarity as a gesture of grave institutional and disrespectful imprudence towards the parliament and, in any case, is liable to tip the country into a spiral of political uncertainty and financial instability.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CHURCH: For more insight, CNN European affairs commentator Dominic Thomas is with us now from Berlin.
Good to have you with us.
DOMINIC THOMAS, CNN EUROPEAN AFFAIRS COMMENTATOR: Thank you, Rosemary.
CHURCH: Europe in the grip of a political crisis with Spain's prime minister quitting and warning of financial stability and political uncertainty.
Is he right about that?
And where is this all going do you think?
THOMAS: I think whenever it comes to talking about political crisis in the Italian context, we have to be careful how we use the term. There's just been so many coalition breakdowns and governments in the past 50 or 60 years or so. It's not an uncommon concurrence.
It's what's particular about this instance is that were in a complete split in Italy around this question. Matteo Salvini's Northern League has been pushing toward power across the last few years and seeking all along to weaken this coalition and to improve his situation.
His far right anti-immigration party has galvanized discussion in Italy and has raised concern about what a Salvini prime ministership would look like.
So the crisis has to do with the future outcomes. He is doing very well in the polls but the opposition parties are discussing the ant- Salvini front and none of these options are very good when it comes to dealing with serious issues that Italy is confronting today.
CHURCH: Italy's president now has to decide whether a new majority government can be formed or if parliament has to be dissolved.
What do you think will be the most likely outcome when you look at the political landscape right now?
THOMAS: Salvini is polling really well and since May in the European elections. This is a got that's only been in power for about 14 months since March of 2018 and the European election, Salvini's party went from being third in the general election to number one. And not only that but increasing its positions in the polls to almost
40 percent. I think it's going to be very difficult for president Mattarella to not allow a general election to take place because the longer they wait, the more Salvini can spin the narrative, that the country wants to go to the polls, wants to support his policies.
As the sitting deputy prime minister and minister of the interior, he has been able to focus on all of these issues. And one could argue that he spent the entire summer period essentially in a pre-general election --
THOMAS: -- campaign mode, traveling around Italy and visiting whatever is on the beach is and holiday makers and so on too. It's going to be hard for him to hold off any kind of interim government and to prevent the Italians going back to the polls yet again.
CHURCH: So your sense is that Salvini would win a snap election?
THOMAS: Well, the question is, winning and having the lead party. This is the question with these coalition issues that we've seen throughout Europe, a massive proliferation of political parties and political movements.
It's clear he's ahead in the poll. Does he get to that magic number of 40 or so percent and ahead of the race where he can form a coalition government is the big question.
But as the figures stand right now he is well positioned to do that. The big question is, whether it's not able to form this coalition and the Five Star Movement which only entered into government back in 2018 and work across the political spectrum with the center left, which is Matteo Renzi's party, pitting these two Matteos, Salvini and Renzi, in an election spinoff.
So there's a lot of uncertainty there and what's clear is that Salvini is ahead in the polls and his Italy first nationalist rhetoric and has been echoing with the Italian people.
CHURCH: Given all of this, what's likely to happen with the island of Lampedusa?
After a Italian court ruled that the migrant ship would be able to dock.
What's going to happen to those migrants?
THOMAS: This is an ongoing question. So whether it's a crisis or whether it's more as usual. Italy is on the front lines and the situation is on a Mediterranean country in close proximity to the African continent, which is the population we're talking about here.
All along Salvini has been pushing the European Union to help the country more with the question of these newly arrived migrants. Even within this government the coalition with the Five-Star Movement, there was a constant standoff between how tough Salvini was going to be how much the Italians will resist here.
In the bigger picture, of course, you have the G7 meetings coming up later this week where Boris Johnson will be meeting with Donald Trump and these policies and debates around migration and motions and so on will coalesce. And so Salvini is also feeding off this bigger global rhetoric when it comes to these questions.
CHURCH: Dominic Thomas, we always appreciate your analysis and many thanks.
THOMAS: Thank you, Rosemary.
CHURCH: When it comes to the Irish backstop, British prime minister Boris Johnson is not backing down. He wants it gone and made that clear yet again ahead of Brexit meetings with E.U. leaders, including Germany's Angela Merkel in the coming day.
Mr. Johnson says that another border solution is needed but Brussels replied, saying there is no realistic alternative as of now, making chances of reaching a Brexit deal by October 31st ever more slim. CNN's Anna Stewart has more now on the road to Brexit.
ANNA STEWART, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): His stance on Europe means he is hated by some and adored by others. But Boris Johnson's rocky relationship with the E.U. began long before the term Brexit was even coined.
In the early '90s, Johnson's was posted to Brussels for British newspaper "The Telegraph," where he developed a niche, filing mocking stories about E.U. bureaucracy. Charles Grant was a fellow Brussels- based journalist at the time and knew him well.
CHARLES GRANT, FORMER BRUSSELS CORRESPONDENT: He gradually worked out that if you wrote anti-stories, exaggerated hugely, sometimes simply invented stories, you'd go on the front page of the day. And you became famous.
STEWART (voice-over): Johnson's dispatches not only advanced his career but they contributed to a growing anti-E.U. sentiment back home in Britain.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
BORIS JOHNSON, INCOMING U.K. PRIME MINISTER: I was just checking these rocks over the garden when I listened to this amazing crash from the greenhouse next door over in England. It was really direct from Brussels where it had this amazing explosive event. It really gave me, I suppose, this rather weird sense of power.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
STEWART (voice-over): It wasn't until 2016 that Johnson decided to stake his whole career on the issue of Europe.
DAVID CAMERON, FORMER BRITISH PRIME MINISTER: The choice is in your hands.
STEWART (voice-over): But the Brexit referendum was cool, he first did it about which side to back.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Make up your mind, Mr. Johnson.
STEWART (voice-over): Perhaps calculating which will open the door to Number 10, his long held dream.
In the end, he surprised many by coming out for Vote Leave and took center stage in the campaign.
JOHNSON: Can we go forward to victory on June 23rd?
Yes, we can.
STEWART (voice-over): And it later emerged that --
STEWART (voice-over): -- Boris Johnson actually wrote two versions of the column which came out in support for Brexit. The first, what we know of the published version, in which he said there's only one way to get the change we want. Vote to leave the E.U.
Then there is the other, the unpublished version, in which he actually warns of an economic shock and the break-up of the union should the U.K. leave.
As it turned out, Johnson picked the winning team.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The U.K. has voted to leave the European Union.
STEWART (voice-over): Now as prime minister, Europe is the biggest problem he has to face. He has made a firm commitment, Brexit will happen on October 31st.
JOHNSON: Do or die, come what may.
STEWART (voice-over): He wants to revise deals for a move the Irish backstop, something Brussels has made clear it will not renegotiate, setting himself up for a showdown.
GRANT: Boris is about rhetoric. He is about facts. Boris is a cavalier they use about roundheads. And I think the trouble is that when cavaliers meet roundheads, they have to fight. And that's what's going to happen.
STEWART (voice-over): Leaders in Europe say they are willing to work with Johnson but he has already built himself a reputation as a troublemaker. He makes promises he can't keep and he's about to drive Britain off a cliff -- Anna Stewart, CNN, London.
CHURCH: Australian cardinal George Pell, the most senior Catholic official to be convicted of child sexual assault, has lost his appeal. The three-judge panel decided 2-1 to reject Pell's argument to have his conviction overturned.
The 78-year old is serving a six-year prison sentence for sexually assaulting two teenage choirboys in the late 1990s. He was sentenced in March and will not be eligible for parole until late 2022.
Pell's case has rocked the Catholic Church where he once served as the Vatican's treasurer. Ivan Watson joins us now from Hong Kong, having covered this.
Ivan, how did this all play out?
What was the reaction to Pell losing his appeal against this conviction?
IVAN WATSON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: First and foremost, the panel of three judges in the end ruled 2-1 that the conviction would still stand. Pell was sent back to prison, where he is serving a six-year prison term for five charges of sexual assault and abuse of these two 13-year-old choirboys back in the 1990s at St. Patrick's Cathedral.
He is eligible for parole after a period of more than three years from that jail sentence. He is 78 years old. The chief justice, Anne Ferguson, responded to some of the arguments that Pell's defense team had made for an appeal. Take a listen to what she had to say.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ANNE FERGUSON, CHIEF JUSTICE, VICTORIA SUPREME COURT: Part of Pell's case on the appeal was that there were 13 solid obstacles in the path of a conviction. Just as Maxwell and I have rejected all 13.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WATSON: Now there were two others grounds for appeal that the defense had proposed and all three judges unanimously ruled against those. The one drowned where there was a divergence and a 2-1 majority was about this unreasonableness basically the argument that whether or not Pell had carried out these assaults on these two boys.
Much of that rested on the testimony of one accuser, an individual, a man who is in his 30s and remained anonymous according to Australian law. One of the judges found that there could be grounds that possibly this assault did not take place but was overruled by the two other judges.
The reaction, of course, has been mixed and Pell has his defenders and he definitely has his critics in Australia. One of them was the father of the other victim, another man in his 30s, who has passed away due to drug overdose.
We cannot identify the father, again according to law in Australia. But take a listen to the message that he had for other victims around the world. (BEGIN VOICE CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE, VICTIM'S FATHER: There is nothing to be frightened off, you are going to be heard, justice will prevail and people are not going to laugh at you and tell you that you are stupid. They're going to listen to you.
So, if this has happened -- and I know there's a hell of a lot of victims out there that have not said anything -- just do it. Come out and say something.
(END VOICE CLIP)
WATSON: And Pell himself in a statement released by his spokesperson via the Catholic archdiocese of Sydney said that he maintained his innocence and he is obviously disappointed with the decision today -- Rosemary.
CHURCH: Many thanks to our Ivan Watson, bringing us the latest on that from Hong Kong.
President Trump's proposal to buy Greenland had people all around the world perplexed and amused. But Denmark's leader didn't find it funny at all and now Mr. Trump is pulling the plug on a planned visit to that country.
Also, President Trump says any talk of recession is wishful thinking by Democrats in the media who hope it will hurt him in the next election. And while he is considering some tax cuts to help the economy, he thinks the timing is just coincidental. The details are next on CNN NEWSROOM.
Even as he was president Donald Trump projects talk of a possible recession he's considering ways to stimulate the economy, he's also taking sharp aim at a Democratic congresswomen he has targeted before, Jim Acosta has more on the presidents wide reaching comments at the White House.
JIM ACOSTA, CNN SR. WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): President Trump is ripping into forecasts from economists that the U.S. could be headed toward a recession.
TRUMP: I think the word recession is a word that is inappropriate because it is just a word that the -- the -- certain people, I'm going to be kind, certain people in the media are trying to build up because they would love to see a recession. ACOSTA (voice-over): Still the president revealed he's considering
some proposals to boost the U.S. economy, including a payroll tax cut.
TRUMP: Payroll tax is something we think about and a lot of people would like to see that. And that very much affects the working -- the workers of our country and we have a lot of workers. I've been thinking about payroll taxes for a long time. Whether or not we do it now or not is -- it is not being done because of recession.
ACOSTA (voice-over): But the president contradicted his own aides, who had just batted down the idea a few hours earlier in the day.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: -- being considered?
HOGAN GIDLEY, WHITE HOUSE SPOKESPERSON: It is not being considered at this time.
ACOSTA (voice-over): Mr. Trump is still touting the U.S. economy as the best in the world but there are signs of possible trouble. U.S. Steel announced up to 200 temporary layoffs in the critical battleground state of Michigan. That news came less than --
ACOSTA (voice-over): -- a week after the president said the steel industry was humming along.
TRUMP: We're doing steel. Steel industry is high. The steel -- they were dumping steel all over. They were destroying our companies. U.S. Steel now -- all of them, they're all expanding. The steel industry is back. It is doing great.
ACOSTA (voice-over): On gun control, the president also seemed to downplay the need for tighter background checks. Sources tell CNN the president has soured on the idea of new gun laws after talking with lawmakers and the NRA.
TRUMP: We are in very meaningful discussions with the Democrats and I think the Republicans are very unified. We are very strong on our Second Amendment, the Democrats are not strong at all in the Second Amendment.
And we have to be very careful about that. You know they call it the slippery slope. And all of a sudden, everything gets taken away. We're not going to let that happen.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ACOSTA (voice-over): But listen to what the president said earlier this month, when he claimed he didn't agree with the notion of a slippery slope and NRA talking points.
TRUMP: NRA has, over the years, taken a very, very tough stance on everything. And I understand it. You know, it is a slippery slope. They think you approve one thing and that leads to a lot of bad things. I don't agree with that.
ACOSTA (voice-over): The president also attacked Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib, who gave a tearful rebuke of Israel's decision to ban the Michigan Democrat along with Minnesota representative Ilhan Omar, tweeting, "I don't buy Tlaib's tears. I've watched her violence, craziness and most importantly words for far too long. Now tears? She hates Israel and all Jewish people. She is an anti-Semite."
TRUMP: All of a sudden she starts with tears. Tears. And I don't buy it. I don't buy it. I don't buy it for a second. I think any Jewish people that vote for a Democrat, I think it shows either a total lack of knowledge or great disloyalty.
ACOSTA (voice-over): And just days away from the next G7 summit, the president resurrected his own talk of allowing Russia back in after the group of world powers gave Moscow the boot over its annexation of Crimea.
TRUMP: We're talking about Russia because I've gone there, numerous G7 meetings and I guess President Obama, because Putin outsmarted him, President Obama thought it wasn't a good thing to have Russia in. So he wanted Russia out. But I think it is much more appropriate to have Russia in.
ACOSTA: Now getting back to the president's comments about Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib, the Jewish Democratic Council of America has released a statement in the last few minutes saying, quote, "This is yet another example of Donald Trump continuing to weaponize and politicize anti-Semitism."
Meanwhile Tlaib's colleague Ilhan Omar also has released a tweet just in the last several minutes. She simply said, quote, "Oh, my," -- Jim Acosta, CNN, the White House.
CHURCH: Larry Sabato joins me now and he's the director of the Center for Politics at the University of Virginia.
And it is always great to have you with us.
LARRY SABATO, UNIVERSITY OF VIRGINIA: Thank you so much, Rosemary.
CHURCH: So even though President Trump keeps denying a recession is on the horizon despite signs of trouble, he is now making plans to put in place a payroll tax cut which will keep consumer spending and the economy propped up until November 2020 election.
Is that what's going on here and, if it is, will it work?
SABATO: It is what is going on if he actually follows through. There is no other reason for a payroll tax cut except to increase consumer spending to stave off a recession. I haven't heard of any other explanation.
Would it work? It would depend on how bad the recession that may be coming turns out
to be. It could be too little, too late, or it could be enough to accomplish what he wants or at least push the recession past November 2020.
CHURCH: Perhaps that's the strategy, perhaps not, we will see what happens, but days after the deadly mass shootings in Dayton and El Paso, President Trump said he would consider background checks to make sure weapons stayed out of the hands of those likely to kill.
But now he is backing away from that and apparently told the national rifle association chief that background checks are off the table. We have seen this play out before, why does he keep going over the same old ground and who's going to hold his feet to the fire on this, anyone?
SABATO: It's up to the Republicans in Congress. And they say we wont do anything unless the president gets his cover. If the president comes out for red flag laws or background checks or any number of reforms, he could have picked one.
I think Republicans are actually in the position in the Senate to go along with it and, of course, the Democrats in the House probably would have. But as you said, this has happened before, no one is shocked by these particular play, we have seen it before, we will see it again probably.
If there's anybody in the White House who thinks the president ought to adopt some kind of gun control to help him --
SABATO: -- in the election in 2020. All they have to do is get the White House operators to stop forwarding the NRA's calls.
CHURCH: All right and I want to take a look at a new CNN poll, it has former Vice President Joe Biden sitting on 29 percent support, that doubling his lead over Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren.
Kamala Harris has dropped 12 points since June and also beating Trump is the top priority for most Democrats rather than picking the nominee who shares their position on various issues.
What did you make of all those new poll numbers, can you read much into them at this juncture, do you think?
SABATO: That's really been fascinating, despite the fact that Biden goes up and down, essentially since the beginning of this race, which seems like years ago. Biden has been the front-runner and it is a question of what happens to the other candidates, who's up, who's down?
Who becomes a second place runner, pushing Biden?
That has changed and so Kamala Harris' decline is stunning. To be fair I have to mention that in other surveys she's not declined that much. So you can still bet on Biden as of today but he's not in such a strong front-runner's position that he could obliterate the field. So I think it is still very much open.
CHURCH: The thing is with the process and the way it all works in this country is that there is so much more time for the other candidates to tear Biden down and in doing so reduce any chance the Democrats have been taking down Trump, which is apparently what Democrats want, right?
SABATO: Yes, and you just put your finger on it, Rosemary, it's the fact that average Democrats want to beat Trump more than anything else and probably they are willing to settle for whether it's Biden or someone else, whoever it is they evaluate at the time the nominee is picked who has the best chance of beating Trump.
That is actually very good news for the Democrats because this is a fractious party, if you go back, you will see frequently they threw away their chance in November by focusing too much on their particular individual issues, they couldn't get back together.
CHURCH: Before you go, I would have you look at Mr. Trump's tweet on his early desire to buy Greenland, let me read it to you.
"Denmark is a very special country with incredible people. But based on prime minister Mette Frederiksen's comments, that she would have no interest in discussing the purchase of Greenland, I will be postponing our meeting scheduled in two weeks for another time.
"The prime minister was able to save a great deal of expense and effort for both the United States and Denmark by being so direct. I thank her for that and look forward to rescheduling statement in the future."
So Larry, Trump's not going to Copenhagen because they won't sell Greenland to him, your reaction?
SABATO: Well, that will show her.
SABATO: Look, it is just so absurd, you could never sell this kind of story to a publisher, no one would believe it. But there it is in the headlines and it will go on. There are many acts to this play left.
CHURCH: Well, he can't have Greenland. We will see what other island nation --
CHURCH: -- there are still some options out there. Larry, many thanks as always.
SABATO: Thanks a lot.
CHURCH: Well, raging wildfires forced thousands to leave Spain's Canary Islands. Coming up the latest on the situation and what progress they're making. Plus months of protests have officials in Hong Kong on edge as Matt Rivers and his team recently saw for themselves.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MATT RIVERS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The team was questioned and detained for the better part of an hour while we were in Hong Kong. What story were we doing there? Why were we going back to Mainland China?
One of the team members actually was getting a full body search. And this just doesn't usually happen when you enter into China.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CHURCH: An unusual trip across the border, that's next on CNN NEWSROOM.
[00:31:52] ROSEMARY CHURCH, CNN ANCHOR: Welcome back everyone. I'm Rosemary Church, want to update you now on the main stories we've been following this hour.
Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte is calling it quits. His government collapsed after coalition pattern far right party leader Matteo Salvini withdrew his support is to Conte warned Italy could enter a spiral of financial instability. The Italian president will meet with various parties to see who can form a government.
Italy's political crisis reached fever pitch over a migrant shoot forced away for weeks of the Island of Lampedusa. The nearly 100 migrants on board were finally allowed to disembark after an Italian court stepped in. Medical stuff say the health and hygiene conditions on the charity ship were becoming dire.
These are the assurances from the White House that Americans are not paying for the trade war with China, a new report says otherwise. According to JPMorgan's estimate, the tariffs had already cost average household $600 a year. That number could rise to $1,000 with more tariffs.
Well protesters are expected to rally in the coming hours outside the British consulate in Hong Kong after a staff went missing as he crossed into Mainland China. The U.K. foreign office tells CNN it's extremely concerned by reports of the disappearance of Simon Cheng. He has been held in the border city of Shenzhen since August 9th. The British consulate in Hong Kong says, it's providing support to his family as it gathers more information from authorities.
Well travelers crossing between Mainland China and Hong Kong are now facing more scrutiny. Body searchers and phone checks are some of the hurdles people are facing as Matt Rivers reports security has ramped up since the rise of the Hong Kong protest this summer.
(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) MATT RIVERS, CNN CORRSPONDENT (voice-over): Just over the past several weeks, we've heard a lot of anecdotal evidence from friends, other journalist that here at the Mainland China, Hong Kong border it's actually harder to get across. There's a lot more security checks. People have had their phones checked, their laptops checked and so we wanted to see for ourselves what's going on.
RIVERS (voice-over): The speculation amongst travelers we spoke to is that any increased border security is related to the months of violent protest in Hong Kong. We saw security changes right away. This is our cameraman being temporarily detained by police while crossing the border.
RIVERS (on camera): So we just made it through the first border check point into Hong Kong and our camerawomen, Natalie, was detained and questioned for roughly 40 minutes. The officers specifically said it had nothing to do with Hong Kong and that it was random but in her nine years as a journalist in China, that is the first time that she has ever been questioned at a border checkpoint.
RIVERS (voice-over): From there we went to the West Kowloon Railway Station, a key cross border transportation hub asking people about the security situation there was difficult.
RIVERS (on camera): We tried to speak to more than two dozen people about the border and not one of them agreed to go on camera and in my experience I'm not surprised.
[00:35:00] RIVERS (voice-over): They were nervous to talk about so sensitive to Chinese authorities. Seven people did speak to us off camera though, all frequent travelers across the border. They said security had increased. All have had their phone searched and one woman who'd attended a protest said officers erased videos from that day. And all said these measures only started after the protest begun which we experienced ourselves on the way back into China.
RIVERS (on camera): So we just made it to through Mainland China Immigration, we're now on the train back to Shenzhen and it was not an easy process. The team was questioned and detained. For the better part of an hour we were asked why we were in Hong Kong? What stories we're doing there? Why were we going back to Mainland China?
One of the team members actually, I was given a full body search and, you know, this just doesn't usually happen when you enter and exit China. And we weren't the only ones facing increased scrutiny. In fact, we saw Mainland Chinese and Hong Kongers after going through immigration being asked to re-verify their identifications and some of them even had their phone searched.
RIVERS (voice-over): CNN asked the Public Security Bureau for comment but didn't hear back. There are multiple officers on the ground told us the searches were random and not connected to the protest. But look, immigration officers searching phones at borders or increasing security because of social unrest is not unusual around the world. But the fact is the Hong Kong-China border is far more on edge as Hong Kong summer of decent continues. Matt Rivers CNN Shenzhen, China.
CHURCH: A massive wild fire has displaced more than 9,000 people in Spain's Canary Islands of the Northern Coast of Africa. Officials are telling more residence nearby to evacuate. The island's president says the fire has almost doubled in size since it begun over weekend despite hundreds of fire fighters and water dropping planes trying to put it out. This is the second major wild fire there this month.
So let's get a check on where things stand right now. Pedram Javaheri is been monitoring the situation. Pedram, what do you think?
PEDRAM JAVAHERI, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Hey Rosemary. This is a place, an area of the world of course this time of year. In the heart of summer you have a lot of people visiting whether be from areas around Britain or in Germany. This is the place to be very beautiful landscape, extremely mountainous but look at the thermal signature here on Google earth to be kind of plotted where the fires are crossing north western region of this volcanic island. And tremendous fire activity in place here and this is an area well known for fire activity because of how dry it is, only about 150 or some millimeters per year.
So you take say the city of San Diego and Southern California well known for how dry it is. You cut the rainfall down to half and you have this region of Gran Canaria Island where we've seen tremendous amount of fire activity in recent days you compare it last year satellite imagery to this year. You see the smoke glooms, the wind pushing all of these towards the south which at least as a lesser populated region of the island there is where the smoke is ending up. So a better set up there as far as impact to people.
But you notice of course a lot of people still displaced thousands evacuated, as Rosemary referenced then the entire archipelago of the Canary Islands underneath high fire alert because of powerful winds, temperatures in recent days that were climbing up to around 40 degrees Celsius. Keep in mind, 25 or so is what is average for this time of year, there is the island changes top shore at the coast of Africa and of course the forecast.
Back into the middle 20s, the winds remained very concerning in an area that is very mountainous elevations in parts of the island climb up to almost 2,000 meters or 6,000 feet. So all of this together really conducive to a fire or for fire to have erratic behavior as it jumps from mountain top or hillside through another hillside, 8,500 hectares consumed hundreds of fire fighters and of course it is the hard of the dry season but it's really are lying a lot of these fires to take off across this region.
And leading with this, Rosemary, take you out towards an area of the world where we maybe you haven't heard of wildfire activity too often across these state of Amazonas right in the heart of the Amazon rainforest, that's the smoke looms right there where we have fire thread in placed across this region as well. We know this is human induced, this time of year a lot of farmers begin clearing land, allowing more vegetation to grow, also clear the land for getting cattle on the ground. Of course these leads to a fire thread. It is again the dry season or the fire season across this region for the Amazon dealing with this as well.
CHURCH: All right, Pedram, many thanks to you as always, appreciate it.
JAVAHERI: As always, yes.
CHURCH: Well Prince Harry and wife Meghan have been taking a lot of hate recently for their vacation travel habits. Ahead, why Elton John and other celebrities re saying people just need sot lay off the Sussex Royals. We're back in a while.
[00:41:40] CHURCH: Well what started as a family vacation to the south France and Ibiza has become a climate change controversy. The Duke and Dutchess of Sussex have been criticized by environmentalist for taking private jets instead of commercial planes with a smaller carbon footprint. And no super star signer Elton John is defending them. Melissa Bell is in Paris for us.
MELISSA BELL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: A string of celebrities have now come out in defense of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle over their use of private jets this summer, something that's really caught the attention of the British press.
Elton John tweeting, first of all, that he'd pay for the private jet that brought the couple to his house in the south of France and it short that it was carbon neutral, but also going further and explaining the obligation that he felt towards Prince Harry and his family as they tried to seek some measure of protection from the very sort of press intrusion that had more than 20 years ago.
Now, contributed to the death of Lady Diana, a woman that Elton John considered a close friend. In the week of his tweets, other tweets by Ellen DeGeneres and Pink also supporting the couple with Pink saying that the sort of level of abuse that Meghan Markle had been subjected to was simply beyond anything like what she seen before.
Melissa Bell, CNN, Paris.
CHURCH: Well there's nothing wrong with wanting a midnight snack, unless, the snacker is a bear roaming around the house. Teenagers in California watching TV in another room who heard a noise in the kitchen. When they investigated, they saw this massive intruder raiding the fridge. The humans retreated to a bedroom and called a local deputy who shod the bear off by firing a shot. Bit of a surprise there. And in Canada, a group of animal in a theatre was a much more welcome side. Of course, these dogs are learning to become service animals. Cute shot. And that means sitting quietly while their owners watch a show or eat at a restaurant. And this theatre featured the musical Billy Elliot, you might want to know that, future training will include subway rides, trips to the zoo and crowded fairs. Love that.
Thanks so much for watching CNN Newsroom. I'm Rosemary Church. Stay tuned now for World Sport and I'll be back at the top of the hour with more news. You're watching CNN.
[00:45:33] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
KATE RILEY, CNN SPORTS ANCHOR: Hi there, welcome along to World Sport. I'm Kate Riley at the CNN Center. We start with the reaction to the number of very unsavory racist incidents in English Football.
And the latest comes off the back of the English Premier League match played on Monday. The Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba is the latest player to be on the receiving end of such hate. He was targeted on social media after missing a penalty against Wolves on Monday night.
Well Manchester United say they utterly condemn the abuse and are working to identify those responsible. Pogba is the 3rd player after Chelsea's Tammy Abraham and Reading's Yakou Meite to be racially abused on social media after missing a penalty this season.
United's defender Harry Maguire led the cause for social media to do more saying, "Disgusting, social media need to do something about it. Every account that is opened should be verified by a passport or driving license. Stop these pathetic trolls making numerous accounts to abuse people."
English Football has worked hard to stomp out racism over the last 30 years but sadly, the number of reported incidents is on the rise. The kick out campaign reported a significant increase in racist incidents last season up 43 percent from the previous year. Elsewhere, we featured on the show yesterday, we are talking about video assistant referee.
VAR was brought into the Champions League halfway through last season. And this season is brand new to the English Premier League, the richest league in the world. The technology seems to be getting the calls right but the beautiful game is now being analyzed and microscopic detail and not everyone likes what they see.
Liverpool's Mohamed Salah is one of the top forwards in the game. He's been talking to CNN'S Becky Anderson in this exclusive interview. He tells us exactly how he feels about VAR.
MOHAMED SALAH, FOOTBALL PLAYER, LIVERPOOL (FW): Mohamed Salah, take one.
BECKY ANDERSON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: What do you think of VAR?
SALAH: Don't like it. But that's my answer always.
SALAH: I love the football, how it is. It's OK. Sometimes it's to protect the players from dangerous play. But for me I accept the football with the mistakes with the referee and mistakes of the player. That's how the football get more exciting. That's the part of the people get more tension on about it. But the VAR is too fair.
Last year, I had a penalty in the final Champions League and it helped me a lot but it's too fair. We like it with the mistakes.
ANDERSON: It's interesting that you say too fair.
ANDERSON: You think the game needs a little bit of an edge?
SALAH: Of course. That's how the football -- how everyone likes football.
ANDERSON: So what do you think the impact of VAR is going to be on the game?
SALAH: More penalties for me. You will see that.
ANDERSON: Which quite possibly might help you win the golden boot again this year.
SALAH: Of course I want it but for me, the team trophy comes first.
ANDERSON: Team trophy comes first.
SALAH: Especially the Premier League.
ANDERSON: Even if you got a third boot in a row?
SALAH: No, it's fine. I will get a third in maybe next year. It's fine.
ANDERSON: You, Mane and Firmino scored a combined 113 goals in the last two seasons. How key is that trio to Liverpool?
SALAH: It's a teamwork, so yes, maybe we scored the most goals for Liverpool but I can't take that from the other players because really they work really hard, they defend a lot, they gave us each ball and we always try to make the defend. The most important thing is like keep winning, keep winning, keep winning and the goals will come.
ANDERSON: You played 11 months in a row with practically, well, no pre-season and very little training. Our footballers asked to do too much, are you knockers is what I'm asking? SALAH: That's what makes football so excited. People loved the football, the pitch and everything so I'm happy to play each game. I don't want to even rest one game. So I'm happy to play for a long time. Even if it was 12 months I would play.
ANDERSON: There is a huge expectation on footballers at your level. Are these expectations at times too high or do you feel they're entirely appropriate?
[00:50:01] SALAH: If you play in a club as like Liverpool, there's always big expectation. You have to win something. So that's -- there is always expectation high in the football. If it's not from yourselves, from the people because they want to see the club winning something.
ANDERSON: What's the message at the beginning of the season to you lot from Jurgen Klopp?
SALAH: Keep working hard and if you want to win another thing, you have to work harder than maybe the last season and you have to really be humble. And OK, the Champions League is over, it was last year so forget it, fight for the new trophy again this season.
ANDERSON: Ninety-seven points and you were a point shy of winning the league. That's tough isn't it? Does it feel like a long road ahead at the beginning of this season?
SALAH: I think yes but, you know, we're playing as Manchester City, we know we -- I think both the same level at the moment. So we just need to focus on our game, not their game. As much as you can each game, it's going to be OK.
Like last season I think that you lost -- we lost only one game, only one game so this season we have to focus on ourselves not to lose any game.
RILEY: Yes and many thanks to
Mo and Becky there. Meanwhile, it's heating up ahead of next year's Olympics in Japan. And when we say heating up, we mean literally.
RILEY: Were back with the buildup to the weekend's tour championship in golf. The field is set for East Lake in Atlanta. Thirty players will be competing for the 50 million dollar prize which goes to the winner of the FedEx Cup playoff.
So this year, you will have just the one winner of both the tour championship and the FedEx Cup playoffs after the PGA tour decided to change the scoring format. From the start, the scoring will be staggered and this is happening for the very first time. Also this week, the tour announced plans to start a new four point plans starting next season. They hope to improve the pace of the game and will impose harsher penalties on play that's deemed too slow. Well, Patrick Reed is playing this weekend and he's also won seven times on the PGA tour and he's also a master champion. And he's been having his say to CNN about the new rules coming in next season.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PATRICK REED, 2018 MASTERS CHAMPION: Honestly for me whether we're playing in three hours or playing in five hours, you have to know mentally how to handle that. And I mean, it's you know, it's part of the trade of what we do. You have to be able to, you know, combat and fight through adversity and whether you have to play a fast run of golf or slow round of golf, whether you have weather, it's all the same thing.
You still have to go out and shoot the lowest number no matter what. So for me it's, you know, just go out and play golf and try to play the best we can whatever that means you're playing in a fast group or a slow group.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
[00:55:12] RILEY: Yes, really good to hear from Patrick Reed there. Well, World Sport will have plenty of tour championship reaction to bring you over the weekend. Our very own Patrick Snell will be live throughout the buildup and the tournament itself. Catch all of that in future additions of CNN World Sport.
The Australian batsman Steve Smith has been brilliant in the Ashes series so far but he did have some bad news on Tuesday. He will not be able to play against England in the third test headingly. The Aussie coach Justin Langer confirmed that Smith is still suffering from concussion that he suffered when he was hit on Saturday at Lord's.
Smith was unable to practice on Tuesday and is a real blow to Australia. Thanks to him they're leading the series one nil. Smith has average 126 in the series so far, hitting back to back centuries in the first match at Edgbaston.
He's currently ranked number two in the ICC test batting records as well, scoring 35 percent of the Aussie's runs in the series so far. As we look ahead to the summer Olympics in Japan next year, the weather seems to be dominating a lot of the conversation right now. Tokyo is dealing with a heat wave this summer and across Japan there have been dozens of heat related deaths which have been reported.
This week, Tokyo is hosting organizers seminar and the heat is one of those topics being discussed.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JAMES MACLEOD, IOC DIRECTOR OF NOC RELATIONS DEPARTMENT: Let me just be clear about this. It is not just a cost saving exercise. What were doing is we're trying to adapt the games to a changing environment and making sure that they suit the current environment and that they actually suit what is relevant for the NRCs. In all of these we keep the athletes at the heart of what we are looking at and the services that are provided to the athletes are always prioritized.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
RILEY: Well, the heat wave in fact has coincided with some of the test events of the Tokyo games. The volleyball athletes were seen cooling off in ice buckets. Organizers have to even spray the sand to keep it cool.
A number of rowers had to be treated for heat exhaustion while others were reported to be unsteady during the medal ceremony. And the triathlon event had to be cut short in order to protect the athletes. In preparation of the games, Tokyo had already relayed 100 kilometers of road with reflective material to reduce heat there.
And misting fans and cooling areas can be found around the city. And that does it from us. Many thanks for watching. Stay with CNN, the news is up next.