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G7 Leaders Brace for Trump's Arrival; Trump Hiking Tariffs on Billions in Chinese Imports; Brazilian President Authorizes Armed Forces to Fight Amazon Blazes; North Korea Fires Two Projectiles; British Prime Minister Heads to France as Brexit Looms; Hong Kong Protests Enter 12th Week; France Opens Investigation into Jeffrey Epstein; Scammers Defrauded Millions from Vulnerable Women. Aired 2-3a ET

Aired August 24, 2019 - 02:00   ET




CYRIL VANIER, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): The Dow plunges as the U.S.- China trade war kicks into overdrive, with each country promising more tariffs as the U.S. president flies off to the G7 summit in France, one he thinks might be a waste of time.

Brazil's military is being deployed to fight the blazes that are burning up parts of the Amazon.

Welcome to our viewers here in the United States and around the world. Live from the CNN Center in Atlanta, I'm Cyril Vanier. It is great to have you with us.


VANIER: The U.S. president is flying over the Atlantic on his way to the G7 summit in southern France, which gets underway in the coming hours. Sources say President Trump is not a fan of the international forum, considering it a waste of time, but he is going. Moving over the summit is the worsening trade dispute between

Washington and Beijing, that rattled global markets. It blew up even more on Friday when President Trump announced he is raising tariffs on imports after China imposed new tariffs on American goods, another round of tit-for-tat.

That sent Wall Street into a panic. The Dow plunged more than 700 points during the day, closing down 623 points. Before leaving the White House, the president said he was simply cleaning up the mess left by previous administrations.


TRUMP: Look, China has been hurting our country for 30 years with the money they have been taking out. Other presidents should have done something about it and they should have done it a long time ago, whether it was Clinton or Bush or Obama, any of them. They should have done something about it. And they didn't. I'm doing it. I have no choice because we are not going to lose close to a trillion dollars a year to China. And China understands that. I hope that with President Xi, I have a good relationship, but they understand we are not going to do it.

This is more important than anything else right now just about that we are working on.


VANIER: Steven Jiang is covering the trade war from Beijing. Nic Robertson is standing by in southern France ahead of the G7.

Steven, let's start with you. It looks like China really got Trump's attention this time.

STEVEN JIANG, CNN SENIOR PRODUCER, BEIJING BUREAU: That is right, Cyril, and Chinese state media stayed largely quiet over Trump's latest proposed tariff hikes. The Chinese counter tariffs were not a surprise, given how they have been saying for weeks they would retaliate against Mr. Trump's proposed tariffs on $300 billion of Chinese goods.

They said they had to defend China's economic and national interests. But the swiftness of Trump's announcement may have caught Beijing officials off-guard. I think when they do respond, they will reiterate their long-standing position that they don't want a trade war but they are not afraid of fighting it and how the economic relationship between the two countries is essentially mutually beneficial, only if the two sides can sit down and talk with sincerity.

But the latest back and forth will cast huge doubts over the ongoing trade talks. The next round is supposed to take place in Washington in September. One of the Chinese preconditions is the immediate removal of all existing U.S. tariffs. So these latest announcements from both sides will make that goal more elusive.

VANIER: Let me head over to Nic Robertson in southern France, where the U.S. president is headed.

Trump hasn't done so well in previous G7s with the same group of people that will be there today.

How is this one shaping up?

NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: Yes. Cyril, you are right, quelle surprise, if you will. The president is arriving here in a not so happy mood, as you said before. He told aides he does not feel the G7 is worthwhile and does not feel like he gets enough time and --


ROBERTSON: -- opportunity to tout to just how well U.S. trade is doing around the world and how well he is handling the U.S. economy. Of course, that is the contrary view here. Steven's been outlining

the trade war with China is ramping up. That is exactly, exactly the scenario that the leaders that President Trump will meet with here from Japan, Italy, Germany, France and Britain will be concerned. Canada, of course, as well.

They will all be concerned about the escalating trade war. But President Trump, when he comes in, can be feisty and he certainly seems to be headed towards a confrontation with the French president.

Why, specifically?

Because President Trump is concerned about the so called digital tax France is pushing ahead with; Europe is undecided how to tax the big U.S. corporations, you know, Googles, Amazons, et cetera, how to tax them.

France, however, is pushing ahead with taxation law on this. Italy and Britain are considering the same. Germany hasn't made up its mind. But President Trump is coming with a clear message for Emmanuel Macron.

That is you hit the powerhouses of the U.S. economy, the digital companies, you hit them with taxes that he says is unfair and we will respond. This is what he said he will do.


TRUMP: I don't want them doing anything having to do with taxing unfairly our companies. Those are great American companies and, frankly, I don't want France going out and taxing our companies; very unfair. And if they do that, we'll be taxing their wine or doing something else. We'll be taxing their wine like they've never seen before.

It's for us to tax them. Other than that, I have a good relationship with -- as you know, with Macron, as you say. I think we'll have a good couple of days.


ROBERTSON: All of that in the flesh is arriving in the shape of President Trump in about four hours. Emmanuel Macron, the French president, does get to set the scene. He said there will be no communique at the end of the agreement. The fact that he is giving a statement makes it very clear, he will be setting out the approaches that he thinks are most important hee.

Expect the fires in Brazil and Iran to be among the topics as well.

VANIER: I just wonder, to put it bluntly, if there is a point to the meeting. You have the most powerful country in the group, the U.S., that does not like multilateralism and doesn't like working with others, especially not this group of countries, does not want to play ball and has totally different policy priorities. ROBERTSON: President Trump values the bilateral meetings. It is an opportunity for the other leaders to get together. We are expecting a smaller, more informal meeting between France, the U.K. and Germany ahead of President Trump's involvement.

They can talk amongst themselves about how they can come together to tackle President Trump on these key issues, the trade war with China being one of them. There is an opportunity there.

The experts would say in the days where you had a communique, you at least had a signature whereby you could hold a country for what it signed up to. But we are not going to have that here this time. But it will be an opportunity, whatever Trump says.

Remember, the old days of international diplomacy where you did not know what leaders would say to each other behind closed doors?

We don't know what President Macron or Chancellor Merkel will say behind closed doors to Trump but it will be for them an opportunity bilaterally to put their points of view forward and have them heard face to face and see a response -- but also collectively. So perhaps this G7 is viewed as something of a 6+1 because the United States is such an outlier on so many of the big issues, the trade, the taxation and the climate issues.

So it is a chance for the others to -- gang up is the wrong word -- but collectively voice very real and deeply held concerns.

VANIER: You say gang up, it reminds me of the picture taken at the last G7, all the world leaders with their arms around Donald Trump, frowns on their faces. We'll bring that up for next hour. Nic Robertson, thank you so much.

Steven Jiang in Beijing, we will cross back to both of you. Thanks.

I want to talk more about this with Natasha Lindstaedt, who teaches government --


VANIER: -- at the University of Essex in England.

Natasha, there is another thing we have not mentioned. It is pretty crazy that, today, on Friday, I should say, Trump wondered who his biggest enemy was. For him, it was a tossup between the Chinese President Xi or his own Fed chairman, Jay Powell.

NATASHA LINDSTAEDT, UNIVERSITY OF ESSEX: I am sort of speechless hearing the things he says. He seems not to know who his real enemies are and who he should be aligning with.

We have seen it happen before. He has sided with dictators over his Western European allies, over Canada. And this is another example of this. He seems to be attacking Powell because he thinks that Powell is responsible for economic policies that will lead the U.S. into a recession. I know he is downplaying that it could happen. But he already is

trying to place blame on Powell for this.


VANIER: Natasha, I am not sure that you heard this. Just before he took off from France President Trump was asked about that tweet and whether he wanted to see Powell gone. Let's remind our viewers, the chairman of the Fed is supposed to be independent and immune from pressure by the president. This is what Donald Trump said.


TRUMP: No, I am not happy with Jay Powell. I don't think he is doing a good job at all. I don't think he is much of a chess player. I got him, so, that's what I have.

Do I want him to resign?

If he did I would not stop him.


VANIER: I wanted to play that for you. I didn't know if you heard that.

LINDSTAEDT: No, but it does not surprise me. He has been more and more recently attacking Powell. Again, it is all part of the plan to place blame on someone. I've never heard of a president attacking the chairman of the Federal Reserve like this before.

This is really unprecedented. But you know, it is what he has to do in order to divert attention from some of his policies and getting back to the whole issue with China. Economists are claiming that a major cause of what is going to lead to a global economic recession -- and definitely a recession in the U.S. -- is the trade war he initiated with China. It does not seem to have an end game or plan to it.

It's incoherent and don't know what he's going to do from one day to the next. He seems to respond more with his gut than based on evidence and we see the quick and swift responses with these retaliatory tariffs against China that will lead to more disarray in the stock market.

So we are seeing, though he wants to place blame on others, some of his policies have been really driving us towards economic downturn.

VANIER: Yes. There may be another one to add to the list. You talked about how some of it is improvised. We know some of it is improvised. One of the things Donald Trump tweeted is, "I hereby order U.S. companies to look for an alternative to China."

That is quite striking. That raises the question, does he have authority?

Does the U.S. president have authority to tell U.S. companies where they should go?

He referred to a statute back in the '70s, he said he absolutely has the authority to tell companies where they should be looking for business.

But we are talking about the beacon of the free market economy involved in a trade war with China and it is the U.S. president, not the Chinese president, telling companies what they should be doing.

LINDSTAEDT: Again, it is completely crazy that he is doing this. He can't spontaneously tell companies you need to find an alternative to China. It does not just happen by snapping your fingers. Of course, it is very unrealistic.

The U.S. and the Chinese economies are completely intertwined and embedded. They are each other's biggest trading partners. Billions and billions of trade takes place. U.S. companies are dependent on Chinese products and vice versa.

So I think he does not understand how trade works and how complicated it is, how many different elements are involved. He is just spontaneously saying things that do not make sense.

VANIER: Natasha, thank you so much. Mr. Trump's argument to that, his answer would be, the U.S. economy is a bigger economy than the Chinese and we are better equipped to win the trade war. That is the argument he has made since the beginning. Natasha, thank you for joining us.


LINDSTAEDT: Thank you for having me.

VANIER: North Korea firing more missiles in the past few hours. We have the latest in a live report from Seoul after this.





VANIER: Brazil's president is calling in help as fires continue to burn in the Amazon at a record rate. Jair Bolsonaro has authorized military personnel and equipment to fight the flames. Brazil's environmental agency is also sending in temporary firefighters. But world leaders want more action.

Some European leaders say they could block a trade deal between the European Union and the South American bloc that includes Brazil. Bolsonaro sees it differently and says the fires should not impact diplomacy.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) JAIR BOLSONARO, BRAZILIAN PRESIDENT (through translator): We are always open to dialogue based on respect, truth and an understanding of our sovereignty. Other countries have expressed their solidarity with Brazil, offering means to combat the fires in line with Brazil's position with the G7.

Forest fires exist all over the world and that cannot be the basis for possible international sanctions. Brazil continues to be, just as it is today --


BOLSONARO (through translator): -- a friendly country that is responsible in its protection of the Amazon.


VANIER: Still president Bolsonaro is criticized around the world for his policies in the Amazon, encouraging businesses to develop the rain forest.


VANIER (voice-over): From Argentina to London to France, activists and global leaders alike are demanding action from Brazil's president. As fires burn at unprecedented rates in the country's Amazon region, Jair Bolsonaro is under increasing international pressure as his new government opens the rain forest for business.

Since taking office in January, Bolsonaro has acted on campaign promises to relax environment regulations in favor of restoring Brazil's economy. He began cutting millions from the budget of Brazil's environmental enforcement agency, appointing new ministers who are loosening restrictions on mining, logging and farming in protected areas and removing those who disapproved.

In early August, Bolsonaro lambasted satellite data, showing surging deforestation in recent months, calling them lies. The head of Brazil's space research institute was then fired shortly after defending the agency's data, showing deforestation was 88 percent higher in June compared to the year before.

It equated to an area larger than 1.5 football fields destroyed every minute of every day. The reports led to an international alarm which Bolsonaro brushed off.

"Take that money and help reforest Germany," he said last week in response to Germany and Norway's decision to suspend funding to Brazil over concerns about his policy.

In a rain forest, critical to those depending on its vast natural resources, indigenous groups in the Amazon have rallied against Bolsonaro, who has called for their assimilation, and promised in 2017 that, should he be elected, not one square centimeter of land would be designated for their reservations. HANDECH WAKANA MURA, INDIGENOUS LEADER (through translator): With each passing day we see the destruction advance, deforestation, invasion, logging. We are sad because the forest is dying more every moment. We feel the climate changing. And the world needs the forest.

VANIER (voice-over): As attention turns to fires scorching the Amazon at unprecedented rates, Bolsonaro calls global alarm "sensationalist." A climate skeptic, he has long emphasized Brazil's sovereignty in the Amazon, threatening to withdraw from the Paris climate accord, should it be at stake.

BOLSONARO (through translator): Brazil does not owe the world anything when it comes to environmental protection.

VANIER (voice-over): Often called the lungs of the Earth, the Amazon supplies 20 percent of the world's oxygen. As it burns, environmentalists warns that the health of the Amazon rain forest is critical to the health of the planet.


VANIER: The Amazon is not the only major forest under assault. For more information about how to support nonprofits working to protest the Amazon and other rain forests around the world, go to

Yet again, North Korea is apparently firing off missiles. The South Korean military detected two projectiles launched early Saturday morning. They flew toward the sea between the Korean Peninsula and Japan. This has become a regular occurrence. This is the seventh launch in the past few weeks.

David Culver is watching it from Seoul, South Korea.

David, what do we know about the latest launch?

DAVID CULVER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Consistent with what we have seen out of North Korea over the past several weeks, there have been several of these launches, these appear to have been short-range ballistic missiles, according to South Korea's joint chiefs of staff, who on a Saturday had to come together, along with the National Security Council here, and assess what this launch is all about.

We know it happened early in the morning. Two rockets, two missiles going up. The range is interesting here. These are 380 kilometers, according to the joint chiefs. Where we are here in Seoul, it's about 230. So certainly within range of these rockets.

This is the fifth such launch this month alone, the ninth since May. And U.S. president Donald Trump is acknowledging it. Headed to the G7, he was asked about it. Take a listen.


TRUMP: Kim Jong-un has been, you know, pretty straight with me, I think. And we're going to see what is going on. We'll see what is happening. He likes testing missiles. But we never restricted short- range missiles. We'll see what happens.


CULVER: So the president --


CULVER: -- said this several times, downplaying the fact these are short-range missiles. The reality is, launches of this type are still a violation of the U.N. Security Council regulations and they're threatening neighbors, like South Korea, Japan, tens of thousands of U.S. troops.

What we have seen in recent launches is also enhanced capabilities coming from the North. So this is not just their way of protesting the joint U.S.-South Korean military exercises that wrapped up earlier this week. Publicly, that is what North Korea put across.

But according to military defense experts, this is also their way of sharpening their skills and near-perfecting the ability to evade the missile defense systems of the U.S. and of South Korea.

VANIER: David Culver, live from Seoul, South Korea, David, thank you.

Boris Johnson heads to the G7 summit for the first time as British prime minister.

Will his Brexit plans overshadow his visit?

We will look at it when we come back.




VANIER: Welcome back to our viewers here in the U.S. and around the world. You are watching CNN NEWSROOM. I am Cyril Vanier.



VANIER: Britain's new prime minister is also facing scrutiny on the international stage. With two months to go until they leave the E.U. with or without a deal. He met with European leaders with whom he often disagrees like Macron and Merkel.

But there was little movement toward striking a Brexit deal before the cutoff date of October 31st. This weekend Mr. Johnson heads to the G7 and brings with him decades of animosity against the European Union. Anna Stewart looks at the legacy of bad blood between the two.


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.


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.


STEWART (voice-over): It wasn't until 2016 that Johnson decided to stake his whole career on the issue of Europe.


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 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.


VANIER: CNN's Dominic Thomas joins us from Berlin.

This is a very important G7 for Boris Johnson. If Brexit happens, he will be on his own and the U.K. will be on its own.

DOMINIC THOMAS, CNN EUROPEAN AFFAIRS COMMENTATOR: Yes. And he will find himself here on the front lines, trying to negotiate a very difficult relationship at this very tense G7 between president Donald Trump, whom he absolutely needs in terms of the optics of campaigning for a Brexit to have the president talk about --


THOMAS: -- the importance of a trade deal, but without going too far in defending that vision and Brexit.

The G7 is attended by the European Union, by the ex-sitting president of the Council, Donald Tusk, in the presence of two of the major players in the European Union, President Macron and Chancellor Merkel. So he needs to negotiate these two positions as he steps onto the world stage here for the first time.

VANIER: He will need powerful friends if Brexit happens.

Will Donald Trump be his powerful friend? THOMAS: That is a difficult one, Cyril. Donald Trump's intervention has already caused so many problems and the opposition in the United Kingdom, which has been unable to coalesce around a Remain position, has come together over the threat of a no deal, saying they would rather remain in the European Union than have a no deal.

Many opposition members have talked about the risk of a weakened Great Britain in the face of Donald Trump because of the way that Donald Trump deals with the bilateral agreements and the potential of Great Britain, of the U.K., becoming the 51st state of the United States.

So it is very difficult to see how much he can use the benefits of talking about a trade deal without the whole process being contaminated by the extreme negativity around Donald Trump.

VANIER: Donald Trump has made it clear he is looking out for number one and the United States. When it comes to deals, he does not want to be taken advantage of. He would rather be doing the taking advantage. So if Boris Johnson has to negotiate a trade deal with Donald Trump, it sounds like Donald Trump won't be doing him any favors.

THOMAS: It's not just that; it's the whole question of the trade deal is premised on Brexit happening what kind of Brexit happens and how long the transition period is and when the U.K. can begin the process.

We see it with the whole G7, the way in which Donald Trump is arriving at this 45th meeting, the most divided G7 we've ever seen. Donald Trump is emboldened by having someone at his side like Boris Johnson; the Italian context, where the deputy prime minister with his far right position is very close to those of Donald Trump.

There is little agreement about anything at this G7. Not just disagreement on issues but actually radical differences in terms of how they see the new world order working out. Donald Trump is a powerful presence. He has so much more support globally than he had when he first went there three years ago.

VANIER: You can tell the impact of Donald Trump from last year until this year. Last year, the other G7 countries were still hoping to get a communique. And this year they are not even trying. President Macron said there will be no communique because nobody reads them, anyway.

THOMAS: That's not true. This will be the first time since 1975 they have not had a communique and the fact they are not going to attempt to have one is even more serious. It points essentially to the virtual collapse of this organization that went from the G6 to the G7 to the G8.

And they disagree on just about everything, including whether or not Russia should be reintroduced. Donald Trump withdrew from the Iran deal. He has very particular positions on Brexit that are completely at odds with those of Merkel and Macron. Then there is this incredibly important issue of climate control, which President Macron has already spoken out ahead of the G7 about how he wants to impose sanctions on the South American trade group.

And before boarding the aircraft, President Trump tweeted out there is a great trade deal to be struck with Brazil. So it's not just a difference of position but an ideological difference when it comes to thinking about the future of the democratic order.

It will be interesting to see how the meeting unfolds and what pieces we are left with of the puzzle by the time they leave after this weekend.

VANIER: Dominic Thomas, thank you very much for your analysis. We will speak again.

Twelve weeks on and Hong Kong protesters are showing no signs of letting up. Hundreds are coming together for another weekend of rallies. We will have a live --


VANIER: -- report with the latest when we come back.




VANIER: The British consulate worker is safe at home in Hong Kong after Chinese police detained him for nearly two weeks. Simon Chang was detained for violating a Chinese law that covers minor crimes. But it was not clear why he was arrested in the first place.

He was last seen on August 8th heading to Shenzhen as part of his job as a British trade representative. Supporters demanded the U.K. do more to get Chang released.

This comes as Hong Kong enters its 12th straight week of protests. Demonstrators are holding a large police approved rally in the area of Kowloon. Parts of the city's subway system had been shut down in anticipation of the march, one of several rallies planned for the weekend. Andrew Stevens is live in Hong Kong.

ANDREW STEVENS, CNN ASIA PACIFIC EDITOR: Thanks, Cyril. The protesters have been streaming past me for an hour or so. There are thousands and thousands of protesters here in an industrial part of Hong Kong.

This protest specifically is about the rollout of high-tech surveillance equipment, which the protesters tell me raises real concerns about facial recognition and another step towards a police state, a state where there is a fear they could become more and more like Beijing.

So they are marching to a park three or four kilometers from where I am standing. There has been some police. There was a police presence with riot equipment near the underground station. As you mentioned, the underground has closed some of the trains around the area to avoid problems --


STEVENS: -- with people and police clashing in the underground.

That has drawn the eye of the people here and the MTR, which runs the underground here, has been the target of real criticism in Beijing as well. Beijing said they have been too soft on protesters. Protesters saying the MTR has been unfair on them.

This is becoming a similar, familiar story, how Beijing is leaning more and more on corporations in Hong Kong to try to help them contain these protesters. So far, no evidence at all the protests are being contained.

VANIER: Clearly not. Evidently not. I remember yesterday, Will Ripley was looking at the newspaper with the HSBC ad, taking a stand against the protests, wanting them to end. Clearly people are not taking their cue from HSBC on this one. Andrew, thank you so much for reporting from Hong Kong.

One of the U.S. Supreme Court's oldest members has fought cancer yet again. We'll look at Ruth Bader Ginsburg's battle against the disease and to stay on the bench.





VANIER: Late financier Jeffrey Epstein is now under investigation in France. Prosecutors say they are looking at allegations of sexual assault and rape against minors, some of whom younger than 15 years old. Shimon Prokupecz explains Epstein's connection to France.


SHIMON PROKUPECZ, CNN CRIME AND JUSTICE PRODUCER: As we know, he was arrested coming back from Paris. He was on a flight. He was arrested in New Jersey here in the U.S., where he was met by federal authorities and taken into custody.

Officials had been tracking him, waiting for him to come back in the U.S. He has a home there.

The other significant thing here, is they can uncover, much like here in the U.S., we know people associated with Jeffrey Epstein during this time have been under investigation. We could see this investigation in France grow, not just in terms of Jeffrey Epstein. It could potentially implicate others.


VANIER: Epstein died by suicide in jail this month while awaiting trial for allegedly running a child sex trafficking ring.

Influential conservative billionaire David Koch has died. He was 79. He and his brother, Charles, became household names for using their considerable wealth to back conservative causes and candidates.

They funded foundations, think tanks, political groups, to push their free market, small government libertarian message. David Koch's family did not announce the official cause of death.

Donald Trump called Ruth Bader Ginsburg "strong and tough" on Friday night and wished her well. His comments come after the court announced that the 86-year old had undergone radiation treatment for pancreatic cancer. The statement adds that there is no evidence right now of the disease in her body.

Ginsburg plays a key role on the court, leading the liberal wing, who are outnumbered currently by conservatives. Elizabeth Cohen looks at her condition.


ELIZABETH COHEN, CNN SR. MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: This is the fourth time we're hearing about a cancer diagnosis for Judge Ginsburg. She has had colon cancer, pancreatic cancer in 2009, lung cancer and now pancreatic cancer again. We don't know if this is a relapse of her first incident or if this is a new cancer.

In speaking with an oncologist, Dr. Otis Brawley at Johns Hopkins, he said you can tell the way they treated it; the first time she had pancreatic cancer, it was localized. They removed part of her pancreas. Now the tumor has come back on the part that they didn't remove

He said he's had patients in this situation. For some of them, they were still alive five, 10 years later, with no evidence of disease. He said it's impossible to predict the prognosis of any patient in this situation. But it's a very good sign that she's active. Being active, not being frail, can help someone in the recovery and increase the chances of survival. Back to you.


VANIER: Believed to be one of the largest online scams in U.S. history. Prosecutors say 80 people, mostly Nigerians, took part in a worldwide scheme that raked in millions of dollars. They allegedly did it tricking mostly vulnerable women seeking online romances. As CNN's Nick Watt reports, police are now making arrests.


NICK WATT, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Early morning, the Feds came knocking.

PAUL DELACOURT, ASSISTANT DIRECTOR, FBI LOS ANGELES FIELD OFFICE: FBI agents arrested 11 federal defendants in Los Angeles and another three around the country. WATT: Eighty people charged and all the charges include fraud, money laundering and identity theft.

NICK HANNA, U.S. ATTORNEY: We believe this is one of the largest cases of its kind in U.S. history.

WATT: Roughly $10 million stolen all online.

DELACOURT: This case involved 32 confirmed victims. Victims are located in the United States, as well as in Japan, the U.K., Lebanon, Ukraine, China, Mexico, Germany, Indonesia, UAE and Trinidad and Tobago.

WATT: They were the elderly, vulnerable, lonely, or lovelorn on dating sites and social media, as well as businesses that rely on wire transfers.

HANNA: At the center of the indictment, our operatives here in Los Angeles who facilitated the fraud schemes by opening U.S. bank accounts where victims were directed to deposit their money.

WATT: Among the many cases detailed in the sprawling 252 count indictment and complaint, a woman who thought she met a U.S. Army captain stationed in Syria online. In reality, a scammer who asked for financial help to get a bag of diamonds out of the war-torn country. That women...

HANNA: A widow, recent widow, who did not have a lot of money.

WATT: -- lost more than $200,000. On Facebook and 81-year-old Hawaiian woman thought she met an oil rig worker in Belgium. In reality, a scammer who built her for $750,000. And there's an Illinois family who thought --


WATT (voice-over): -- they were wiring $135,000 to an escrow company. In fact, the money went straight into a scammers account in L.A.

These mass arrests are the culmination of a huge, more than two-year investigation, but still a word of warning.

DELACOURT: We are not going to arrest our way out of this problem. And so we continue to educate potential victims.

WATT: If you are wiring money, call the company and check the details before you wire money to anyone. And on social media or dating sites, do not trust anybody who asks for money before you've met face-to-face -- Nick Watt, CNN, Los Angeles.


VANIER: One more thing before we wrap this up. A commercial flight in the U.K. got lots of attention this week because of who was on board. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and their three kids flew to Scotland on Thursday on a budget airline. This is after Prince Harry and his wife were accused of hypocrisy

because they used a private jet on two trips just two days apart. Harry and Meghan are known for their criticism of climate change but critics say the carbon footprint of a private jet is much greater than a commercial airplane.

Thank you for watching CNN NEWSROOM. I'm Cyril Vanier. We'll be back with another hour of news in a few minutes.