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CNN NEWSROOM

Asian Markets Plunge Over Trade War Worries; Iranian P.M. Zarif Makes Surprise Appearance On Sideline; Divisions Of Trade War, Iran And Russia Surface; Israel Accuses Iran Of Plotting Drone Attack From Syria; Lebanon and Hezbollah Accuse Israel after Alleged Crash of Drones in Beirut Suburbs; Thousands of Fires Ravaging Amazon Rainforest; Interview with Stephen Miller on Immigration Loophole; Immigration Raids Tear Apart Migrant Communities; Comedian Hosts Concert to Honor Mass Shooting Victims. Aired 1-2a ET

Aired August 26, 2019 - 01:00   ET

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


[01:00:00] CYRIL VANIER, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: Petrol bombs, water cannons, live ammunition, the protests in Hong Kong take an ominous turn.

Plus England claims victory at the Ashes in the third test after an inning that's being called one of the best in decades.

We're live from the CNN center here in Atlanta. Thank you so much for joining us. I'm Cyril Vanier. CNN NEWSROOM starts right now.

The threat of you tariffs in the U.S.-China trade war and confusing signals coming out of the G7 summit cent markets plunging Monday. Its jittery investor's first response since President Donald Trump announced new tariffs Friday, so let's look at the numbers then.

The Nikkei is down two percent, the Hang Seng almost three percent, and the Shanghai Composite down almost one percent. And then news wasn't better in U.S. Futures. They're all down between 0.5 percent and nearly 0.7 percent in the Dow, Nasdaq, and S&P 500 Futures.

Many foreign leaders blamed the trade war for dragging down the global economy. Mr. Trump was asked about it at the summit. Here's what he said.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Do you have any second thoughts on escalating the trade war with China?

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Yes, sure, why not.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Second thoughts, yes?

TRUMP: Might as well. Might as well.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You have second thoughts about escalating the trade war with China?

TRUMP: I have second thoughts about everything.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VANIER: Top aides were quick to backtrack the President's comments. White House Chief Economic Adviser Larry Kudlow gave his interpretation to Brianna Keilar.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN ANCHOR: So the president said that he's having second thoughts about escalating the trade war. Why?

LARRY KUDLOW, CHIEF ECONOMIC ADVISER, WHITE HOUSE: Well, look, if I can reinterpret that. I mean, he spoke to us. He didn't exactly hear the question. Actually, what he was intending to say is he always has second thoughts and he actually had second thoughts about possibly a higher tariff response to China, so it was not to remove the tariff, he was thinking about a higher tariff response.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VANIER: Steven Jiang joins us now from Beijing. He's been keeping an eye on the markets. Steven?

STEVEN JIANG, CNN PRODUCER: Well, Cyril, right now, all the major stock markets here in Asia are in the red especially in Tokyo and Hong Kong where the indices are down more than two percent. I think things are slightly better here in China with the Shanghai and Shenzhen markets down but -- and less than one percent and I think the story -- the picture is similarly gloomy in other parts of this region as well.

But this is not entirely surprising given that the one thing investors hate the most is uncertainty and in the past few days since Friday night, these announcements of terrorists and counter-terrorists, they're causing nothing but more uncertainty in this ongoing trade war.

Now, here in China though, I think officials seem to be trying to calm down the situation somewhat with Vice Premier Liu He, the country's top trade negotiator actually reassured audiences just this morning a few hours ago in a speech that China is committed to resolving its trade disputes with the U.S. through negotiations and will be doing so with a calm attitude.

That seems to be in contrast from this -- from this very strongly worded statement we heard from the government over the weekend about warning the U.S. not who misjudge the situation or to underestimate the determination of the Chinese people to fight this trade war.

So I think Mr. Liu, the Vice premier's words probably would give people some hope that the next round of trade talks which is supposed to take place in Washington D.C. in September will still go ahead.

But right now I think few people would expect any breakthrough in these talks because remember, one of China's preconditions to reach any deal is the immediate removal of any existing U.S. tariffs and the latest round of escalation over the weekend certainly as making achieving that goal all the more elusive, Cyril.

VANIER: That certainly doesn't look like it's about to happen. And look, there was some confusion on -- as you know at the G7 on Sunday Donald Trump appeared for a brief moment to be saying that he was having second thoughts about his trade war with China. I wonder whether you felt, heard, any ripple effects of that in Asia.

JIANG: You know, the state media here really hasn't done much reporting on these back and forth in terms of the president's words. But you know, the president now so for example in his recent tweets asked the question if President Xi was the enemy of the U.S. while telling reporters human few moments later about he has had a great relationship with the president.

So I think his actions and remarks probably would only reinforce the notion here that he is just simply impossible to manage. I think that would probably strengthen the hands of President Xi Jinping in the -- in the words of many analysts because one thing they say mister Xi had been facing was internal criticism of his mishandling of U.S.-China relations.

But now he could push back these claims at his -- telling his critics look, Mr. Trump is impossible to manage and China needs a strong and powerful leader like himself to really push back against the U.S. at all fronts so that it could you know, stop the American plan of contain the rise of China on the global stage. Cyril?

[01:05:30] VANIER: Steven Jiang reporting live from Beijing. Steven, thank you. Iran's Foreign Minister made a surprise appearance at the summit. French President Emmanuel Macron held sidelines talks with Javad Zarif. Mr. Macron has been pressing for a de-escalation of tension in the Gulf region.

U.S. officials said Zarif's presence was a curveball for President Trump but they insisted that he wasn't upset by it. When reporters asked about it, Mr. Trump's response was clipped.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: In a separate issue, there are reports that the Iranian Foreign Minister is coming to Biarritz. Can you confirm that? Or do you plan to meet with him?

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: No comment.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He doesn't know guys.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VANIER: No comment. CNN European Affairs Commentator Dominic Thomas is with us now from Berlin. He will comment on it. Dominic, at first, this looked like a diplomatic coup for Macron. You know, when I first got the news that Zarif's plane had landed and nobody knew about this and they had managed to keep it under wraps, I just thought it was going to be a big win for him. And then as the day unfolded, well, let's say the response was a bit

more measured. We saw a very muted, no comment response from the U.S. What did you think?

DOMINIC THOMAS, CNN EUROPEAN AFFAIRS COMMENTATOR: Yes. I mean, of course, it was somewhat surprising. Emmanuel Macron has tried to position himself as an important interlocutor with the Iranian government, the Iranian authorities as indeed has Shinzo Abe a of Japan.

So and the understanding is that President Trump was told that this was going to happen. And I think that there's a big difference between the sort of the one-on-one meetings with President Trump and in those when he's there surrounded by his -- by his entourage. But ultimately, I think what this points to is there's sort of two G7s going on here, Cyril.

There's the G7 of the sort of the bilateralism which is President Trump you know talking about trade deals with Japan, the U.K. and their interest with the U.S., Mexico, Canada deal. And then there's the multilateral thing going on which is of course what the G7 is about which is about climate and Russia and Iran.

And this was one glaring example of the discrepancies between the bilateral and the multilateral actions that are taking place at this G7.

VANIER: Yes. Well, as far as the multilateralism, you really saw the change of tone from the French president. Because previously about Iran, he was saying -- he seemed to be referring to common position as if he had been mandated to express the common position of G7 countries or at least countries that were signatories to the Iran nuclear treaty.

And then on Sunday, his tone changed and he said you know, we're all taking individual actions. This is what France is doing.

THOMAS: Yes. I mean, this is what he -- this is what he hoped would come of this. I mean, remember, the state visit that he made to Washington D.C., the goal was to convince President Trump to support the Paris Accord on climate and to remain in the Iran nuclear deal and that did not work out.

And in this particular occasion, there was no way the U.S. administration was going to sign off on some kind of common position when it came to Iran. But I think there is a greater realization and that this is obviously a key issue and that the French are important players in this. But then President Trump also argues for the involvement of Russia in these particular discussions. And this you know, points to just another fault line as far as these G7 leaders are concerned.

You know the G7 as you said, it's about these one-to-one meetings and it gives these world leaders a chance to sit down and talk directly behind closed doors. They can -- they don't have to -- they don't really have to say anything to the press about their conversation. They can be very bland and they can keep things secret if they want.

Donald Trump, it seems though, if you look at the track record there's just nothing that those other countries, those other leaders can say that will change his mind especially on things that are close to his heart like the -- like the China trade war. It just doesn't seem like they can change his mind on anything.

THOMAS: Yes, it doesn't. And we saw you know once again when President Macron came to United States or the days of meetings and so on. And at the end of the day -- he left -- it yielded absolutely nothing. And then, of course, there's the Donald Trump that's there at the meeting and the Donald Trump that then returns to the United States and starts to speak again and articulate his vision to his base.

And we saw this at the meeting when he made a particular comment to the Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe about North Korea and Abe said well, you know, these missiles the legality of it is a you know, a great concern to us even with Boris Johnson.

Boris Johnson sort of you know, would rather have than a trade war or trade peace is concerned about the global economy. There's no consensus around Russia at this particular meeting and so President Trump has continues to sort of to dig in on these particular questions that whenever it comes to multilateral action, whether it's over climate, Russia, and so on, he simply won't sign up to it.

And this weakens, of course, the purpose of the organization which is to weigh in on these important global issues and to act in concert. And with that, the G7 of course, loses so much of its and clout and power and becomes this occasion then for simply for bilateral meetings and that's not the purpose of it.

[01:10:54] VANIER: Among the bilateral meetings, I'm going to switch from Iran to Brexit. Now, Boris Johnson had words with the president of the European Council Donald Tusk. Did we get any clarity on Brexit?

THOMAS: Well, the only clarity that we get is that it's -- I think that you know, Boris Johnson's game is quite clear, it's delivering Brexit, it's convincing the British electorate that he is the one for those who support leaving the European Union who unambiguously will be fighting for them.

And his goal is to bring into the fray the Brexit party, the Nigel Farage group so that they support him if he end up at a general election. We know that Parliament will not support a no-deal. This discussion with the European Union of not paying the divorce bill of talking about closing down Parliament, all these are provocative actions that simply underscore his commitment to delivering a Brexit and the audience is back home.

Ultimately, he knows that a general election is going to determine this and here's the party and of leaving the European Union and he knows that the Opposition in the U.K. is divided around these particular questions and he wants to exploit this. And by blaming the European Union, by pointing to the European Union

as being a stubborn and unwilling to move on things helps further boost his particular position. And of course, the E.U. has very reasons for being skeptical about Boris Johnson and about the way in which he wants to go about delivering Brexit.

VANIER: All right, Dominic, thank you so much.

THOMAS: Thanks, Cyril.

VANIER: To Hong Kong now where the protests have turned violent once again. On Sunday, clashes got so bad that police drew their guns and one of them fired a warning shot. Here's the moment.

OK, so Hong Kong police defended the act. They say the officer was left with no other choice. CNN's Andrew Stevens was on the streets on Sunday. He filed this report.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ANDREW STEVENS, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Tensions between police and protesters here in Hong Kong have escalated significantly over the past few hours. For the first time, we've seen the deployment of water cannon used as firing warning shots to retreating protesters soon after they had lob multiple petrol bombs, Molotov cocktails at a line of police.

There have been multiple rounds of teargas used today as well as other projectiles by the police as they attempted to clear a major road running through this gritty industrial district of Hong Kong known Kwun Tong.

There was the standoff for a couple of hours between protesters and police. Police showing no appetite to move forward but we're using regular rounds of tear gas. Eventually, we started to see protesters retreat with police swiftly following up.

There was no injuries from the petrol bombs that we could see, most of them landing harmlessly in the no-man's land between police and protesters. But it did underline the growing anger and the growing violence being used by some of these protesters. Many paving stones are now being ripped up and used as objects as missiles against police. We've seen that before but certainly, they were -- it was out in numbers today.

It's difficult to say where it goes from here as always, but certainly, there is a sense that the protesters are both getting more getting angrier and prepared to use more violence measures while police also starting to use equipment like water cannon. Andrew Stevens, CNN Hong Kong.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

VANIER: We're learning new details about Saturday's Israeli airstrikes in Syria. Iran is denying its forces were hit but Israel says it's targeted Iranian operatives and Shia militia. It also says one of Iran's top commanders was plotting a drone attack. CNN's Sam Kiley has more from Jerusalem.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

SAM KILEY, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: The Israeli Defense Forces were extremely quick in acknowledging that they had conducted aerial bombardments of what they said was specifically Iranian targets as well as Shia militia inside Syrian territory.

Within hours of the end of the operation at around midnight, they had put out an official statement and then at first light, this is what the official spokesman for the IDF said.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

[01:15:21] JONATHAN CONNICUS, SPOKESMAN, ISRAELI MILITARY: The IRGC, Kurd's force commander Qasem Soleimani plan to launch these killer drones from Syria and attack Israel just like he has attacked airports and oil fields in Saudi Arabia, Yemen, and additional places all over the Middle East. We hold the Iranian and Syrian regime's responsible for this attempted attack.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KILEY: Now, the Israelis also showed an aerial photograph of a location southeast of Damascus where they said there was a village which half of which was effectively a compound they said used by the Kurds force. They claimed that is the overseas operational arm of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps.

They said it was guarded entirely and personnel were all there were Iranian. They also said that it was that location that was struck in the s airstrikes. But they said that last Thursday, a location much further to the west closer to the border between Syria and the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights where there had been another operation also allegedly involving Iranian drones that had been somehow foiled by Israeli military action, but they would not say what that action was.

This of course coming during an election campaign by Benjamin Netanyahu, the Israeli prime minister who hopes to be able to sew together enough of a coalition after the September the 17th elections to be able to continue in that job and also against the background of allegations coming out of Iraq that it was Israeli warplanes that were behind attacks on other Iranian backed targets, weapons, locations, and weapons stores inside Iraqi territory in the last few weeks.

So amidst all of this rising tensions between the United States in particular and the Iranians over the withdrawal of the Americans from the Iranian nuclear deal, the Israelis are also apparently getting into a position in which they can be tried to be sure that there aren't stockpiles of weapons that we can rain down on Israeli territory if it comes to blows in the widest strategic context. Sam Kiley CNN Jerusalem.

(END VIDEOTAPE) VANIER: Puerto Rico is bracing for a powerful hurricane this week. Scores of people are flocking to stores buying food and water ahead of its expected arrival on Wednesday. We'll have the details on that. Plus a stunning comeback of the ashes. England pulls off what some say is one of the greatest innings ever played.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(WORLD SPORT)

[01:20:00] VANIER: Puerto Rico and the Caribbean's Lesser Antilles are bracing for powerful hurricane in the coming days. Meteorologists say tropical storm Dorian is expected to slowly strengthen to a Category I hurricane by Wednesday bringing in -- bringing with it strong winds rain and storm surges as it moves west.

With disturbing memories of 2017 hurricane Maria still fresh in people's minds, Puerto Ricans, look at this, they're flocking to stores to buy water food and other basic supplies ahead of this coming storm. Dorian is the fourth named storm of this hurricane season which typically reaches its peak in early to mid-September.

Meteorologist Karen Maginnis joins us. Karen, you know, part of my family is from the Caribbean and during each hurricane season, when you hear there's a storm coming your way, you look at the path very closely to see if it's going to hit your island. What can you tell us?

KAREN MAGINNIS, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Yes, and I know that that is the anxiety that lies with what's going to happen with Dorian, it is still far away from land. The computer models are in fair agreement as to where it's going to land. But Cyril, we've got about 72 hours before it's going to reach that hurricane intensity. And we know just how fickle that these tropical systems can be.

All right, here's the latest. It's sitting well to the east of the Lesser Antilles supporting winds 85 kilometers per hour some higher gusts. And yes, if you live in these Caribbean islands, the Lesser Antilles here in this particular case, you are going to closely monitor what's happened here especially considering what happened September 2017 with Maria.

All right, this is what we're anticipating as we go into the next several days. It'll be about 36 hours before it moves right across the Central Lesser Antilles and St. Lucia Martinique and Dominica. Now, I know there are a lot of boaters, a lot of sailors across this region, so there are marine interests here, there are people who live on these islands that are concerned about mudslides and landslides. Wind damage it should be minimal with a system like this.

But what about Puerto Rico? That's an event that looks like it's going to take place on Wednesday at hurricane intensity, Wednesday evening. So we're talking about 72 hours away. I mentioned those computer models were in fair agreement all pushing the system less towards the west and more towards the northwest. So right across the Lesser Antilles, in the vicinity of San Juan, in the vicinity of Hispaniola, so this is going to be about three-four days out where we're looking at significant populations here that will have to be concerned. Is this going to stay a category one, is it going to weaken as it moves across this region?

Well, right across the central Lesser Antilles, St. Vincent, the Grenadines, St. Lucia Martinique, there are tropical storm warnings that are currently in effect for that region. Computer models say yes. It probably is going to be a hurricane but could like to the south also to the west of San Juan.

That's how the computer models are saying it now. So we are gradually rolling towards when we need a definitive forecast and yes, because there is that concern building on what happened two years ago.

All right, this is the kind of the cone of what we anticipate will be the forecast rainfall accumulation across this region and the path is expected to take, but there's lots of dry air here. And then we think there's going to be a little bit of shear that could be impacting this as we head towards the facility of San Juan.

So perhaps a category one system. Cyril, yes, you know, the folks that live here are especially concerned considering the devastation that took place here two years ago.

[01:25:40] VANIER: Yes, absolutely. Cameron McGinnis, thank you very much. We'll be watching that closely. It's expected to make landfall starting Wednesday. Karen, thank you. It is being called one of the greatest innings ever played and cricket. Ben Stokes leading a one- man charge to carry England to an exhilarating one wicked victory over Australia and keep the battle for the Ashes alive.

All right, this is how it played out when. Stokes began batting, England had only one wicket remaining and needed 73 runs to avoid defeat to Australia, a defeat which would mean that Australia retains the Ashes title. But England completed the epic comeback. Stokes knocked the winning boundary.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BEN STOKES, BATSMAN, ENGLAND: You know, walking off there at the end when you know, the whole of Headingley was you know, something open and celebrating. It was a -- it was a very special moment and something to try and take in I think because moments like that don't come along very often and you know, it's just an amazing game to be part of to be there at the end and still keep our -- Ashes hopes alive. It was a pretty special feeling coming off at the end.

VANIER: So the five-match series is now tied one all with two tests to play. The next test begins September 4th and Manchester. World leaders are promising action to fight the fires raging in the Amazon. We'll take you to the heart of the fire zone when we come back. Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) [01:30:39] CYRIL VANIER, CNN ANCHOR: Welcome back. I'm Cyril Vanier.

Let's look at your top stories this hour.

Stocks in the Asia-Pacific region are having a bad to terrible day -- worse than they were 30 minutes ago. Look at the Nikkei, Hang Seng, Shanghai composite -- they are all down.

Growing uncertainty over the U.S.-China trade war has markets on edge, following tit-for-tat tariffs and confusing signals from the Trump administration.

At the G-7 summit, President Trump was asked about the trade war and he told reporters he had second thoughts about it. Top White House aides later backtracked and emphasized the President remains committed to tariffs.

U.S. officials say the unexpected arrival of Iran's foreign minister at the summit was a curveball for President Donald Trump but he added he wasn't upset by it. French President Emmanuel Macron has been pressing President Trump to soften his stance on Iran.

And Iran denies any of its targets were hit Saturday by Israeli air strikes in Syria. Israel has released these images and says they show Iranian operatives in Syria carrying a drone. Israel's military says the strikes stop the drone attack by Shia militia and Iranian forces.

Now, there is no doubt that Israel launched Saturday's air strikes in Syria. What is murkier is what, if any, role it played hours later in Lebanon. The Lebanese government and Hezbollah say two Israeli drones crashed Sunday near the capital, Beirut. Israel so far isn't claiming responsibility but there are signs that it's expanding operations against Iran and its allies.

CNN's Ben Wedeman has more from Beirut.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

BEN WEDEMAN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Two Israeli drones crashed into Beirut's southern suburbs early Sunday morning, according to a spokesman for Hezbollah. One of the drones crashed on to the building that houses Hezbollah's media office. And about 45 minutes later according to the Hezbollah spokesman, another much larger drone crashed and exploded in an adjacent lot, causing material damage, including damage to Hezbollah's media office, but no casualties.

Israel has yet to comment on this incident. Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah in a televised speech Sunday evening said that the first drone was hovering between building in that area when local residents brought it down with stones. He said the second, much larger drone was intentionally crashed and exploded.

Lebanese President Michel Aoun and Prime Minister Saad Al-Hariri described the incident as a violation of Lebanese sovereignty. Also, on Saturday evening there was an Israeli airstrike on targets

outside of Damascus. Israeli officials claim the operation was to prevent an Iranian drone attack on Israel. But in his speech Nasrallah said the real target was a building that was housing Hezbollah members. Two of them he said were killed.

He said that Hezbollah will avenge the killing of Hezbollah fighters in Syria and he warned Israeli soldiers on Israel's northern border to beware.

Nasrallah in a speech warned that Hezbollah will not allow Israel to regularly carry out air strikes on targets, as it has in Syria for the past few years and it is believed recently in Iraq. He warned that if Israel follows the same course of action in Lebanon, Hezbollah will do all it can to shoot down those Israeli drones.

I'm Ben Wedeman, CNN -- reporting from Beirut.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

VANIER: On top of alleged Israeli activity in Lebanon, a largely Shia paramilitary group says it was also targeted by Israel Sunday in Iraq. The popular mobilization units say Israeli drones killed at least one of their members in a town near the Syrian border. an Israeli military spokesman has declined to comment.

Scientists keep warning us that the fires burning across the Amazon forest are an environmental crisis. They have been spreading at a record rate for weeks across several south American countries, mainly Brazil. Thousands of people are battling the blazes. G-7 leaders meeting in France are also working to send additional support as French President Emmanuel Macron explains.

[01:35:06] (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

EMMANUEL MACRON, FRENCH PRESIDENT (through translator): There was a true convergence to say that we all agreed to help as quickly as possible the countries that were affected by these fires. There were several. This morning, Colombia called out to the international community and we must be present and we will finalize this.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VANIER: The Amazon is often referred to as the planet's lungs, producing 20 percent of the oxygen and earth's atmosphere.

Our Nick Paton Walsh is in Brazil tracking what's being done right now to fight these fires and protect the land.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

NICK PATON WALSH, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Three hours we spent above the Amazon rainforest in the worst affected area here. And I have to tell you at times you could fill your eyes sting. We turn the air vents off inside the aircraft, had to fly high because the density of the smoke generated by these fires. It is quite extraordinary how they burn, rage uncontrolled and how numerous they are. Here's what we saw.

There is little below but ghosts and even they seem to have been given up on. These are the newest fires in the worst hit states in the Amazon. We didn't see below us any of the 43,000 troops Brazil's president has pledged to the fight. In fact in some places it so bad you can't even see how bad it is.

That will suit just fine those who would rather ignore the world's most urgent environmental crisis.

No matter how high you are you can't escape smoke. We even closed our air vents inside the plane to stop it. The sun made this green paradise over millennia but now barely peaks through the smoke and its destruction.

These apocalyptic sights are kind of like the warnings about what might happen if the world doesn't do something about the climate crisis that you keep hearing. But instead it is right below us right here and right now.

What is startling is how much of this immense jungle people have managed to destroy in so short a time. They had help -- fires they lit, and it happened naturally in the dry heat, but usually peak later in the year.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This is not just a forest burning. This is almost a cemetery because all you can see is dead. The Amazon is extremely fundamental for the water system for all over the continent. So if we cut off the forest in some years we're not going to have rain on the (INAUDIBLE) of the country.

WALSH: We find another area where the damage is fresher and easier to see, raging in straight lines, swallowing everything left on the plane. When you look at this you learn something about yourself.

Do you see a crisis impacting every fifth breath you take and killing the future? Or do you see what man must do to nature to enrich himself to live better. The answer means little below, where the fire burns our heritage and suffocates our future regardless of how we feel about it.

Now Brazil's president Jair Bolsonaro has accepted the help of Israel, they're sending some specialized aircraft to assist. A phone call from Israel's prime minister Netanyahu offered that.

Will he except the help of G-7 nations? Well, frankly many of them have been very openly critical and in dispute with Brazil over Bolsonaro's policy towards the Amazon and the environment in general. Will possibly he accept their assistance. Will they offer it in ways which are meaningful here. Will it arrive in time to slow the march of these fires down?

We have seen rain tonight. It is unclear if its winds will fan the flames or if its water will put them out but the urgent challenge here for Brazil, frankly and the world to stop its lungs from being on fire.

Nick Paton Walsh, CNN -- Porto Belo.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

VANIER: When we come back, CNN speaks with the architect the Trump administration's controversial immigration plan. Stay with us for that.

[01:39:17] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

VANIER: In the wake of recent mass immigration raids in the, U.S., our Jim Acosta caught up with the architect of President Trump's immigration policy at the G-7. Stephen Miller tells CNN that changing the current immigration law known as the Flores Settlement that limits detention times for children will reduce how many are smuggled into the U.S.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

STEPHEN MILLER, WHITE HOUSE ADVISER: What about the people who don't want to see -- Americans don't want to see --

(CROSSTALKING)

MILLER: -- what Americans don't want to see are children being smuggled in record numbers across our border to take advantage of a loophole created by our court system. American's want to an immigration system that doesn't put children in harm's way.

The only way to accomplish that end is to make sure that smuggling a child does not guarantee entry or admission into the country.

(CROSSTALKING)

MILLER: This change will dramatically reduce incidences of child smuggling including instances of fraudulent families which we've seen a huge uptake in recent years, again, to try to take advantage of the Flores ruling.

JIM ACOSTA, CNN CHIEF WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: But then they get locked up in the U.S. or then they're locked up on the border.

MILLER: This will end the incentive for child smuggling and hopefully all decent people can agree. Our immigration should have no incentives, no rewards for bringing children.

(CROSSTALKING)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VANIER: Those immigration raids tore some families apart particularly in one community.

Our Nick Valencia went to one community to get a firsthand look at the impact. (BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

NICK VALENCIA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It's the start of Thursday mass in Forest, Mississippi and Father Roberto Mena (ph) is trying hard not to show it but he is worried. Today the pews are mostly empty.

Two weeks ago ICE agents carried out one of the largest raids in American history and they took as many as 150 people from his congregation. Everyone of those left have been impacted by what happened.

Father Mena tries to reassure his parishioners that they're going to be ok though even he admits since the raid, most of his dreams have been nightmares.

At mass end, parishioners are encouraged to pray to God out loud.

This woman pleads to God for parents to be reunited with their children. It's a desperate prayer but for many, faith is all that is left.

Gaspar Gomez Pablo says he needs help with an attorney. Along with his wife, the 33-year-old was detained in the recent raid at (INAUDIBLE). While he was released with an ankle monitor, his wife is still being held though they've lived in the U.S. for more than ten years.

Both of their futures, he says, are uncertain.

[01:45:02] He tells me his children are sad, that they don't eat much and ask about their mom. They want to know when she will be back.

For a ten-year-old, the pain of being without his mom is just too much.

Do you know where your mom is? What are you -- are you sad? It's hard, huh. I'm sorry.

FATHER ROBERTO MENA, SACRAMENTAL MINISTER OF CATHOLIC DIOCESE OF JACKSON, MI: I think now that Hispanics are living the same kind of discrimination and racism that others faced in the past.

VALENCIA: Father Mena Tells me no one in the community seem to be prepared for the possibility of a raid or the chance that their family might be split up.

MENA: For me, separating families is the work of the evil one among us. This is something I don't understand. Why they want to divide families. And they are families that they are contributing to this country. All of them they pay taxes and they are connected to this culture.

VALENCIA: It's a hard thing for many here to understand, but especially the children.

If you could tell your mom something, what would you tell her? UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I miss her.

VALENCIA: Of the 680 employees that were detained as a result of these raids, at least 70 have been charged with things that include illegal reentry into the United States, as well as falsifying documents.

An ICE official I spoke to earlier said for those wondering whether or not the owners of these companies will be charged as well, the official said that decision is ultimately up to the U.S. attorney's office.

Nick Valencia, CNN -- Jackson, Mississippi.

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VANIER: The first Africans were brought to British North America 400 years ago this month. They were enslaved and their arrival marked the beginning of a long painful era of American slavery.

Over the weekend, thousands of people gathered to honor their memory at the same Virginia port where they arrived centuries ago.

CNN's Natasha Chen was there.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Say something, thanking them for their sacrifice.

NATASHA CHEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: In the same spot where about 20 captured Africans arrived four centuries ago people whispered prayers to them and to the ancestors who did not survive the voyage, sending those thoughts floating with flower petals into the Chesapeake Bay.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The ghost of the past is still alive with us today and you can feel it as you walk around and look at the backdrop here.

CHEN: Under the backdrop of Fort Monroe, people felt what shackles would've been like and took pictures at this historic marker where the ship White Lion arrived.

Asia Leeds, co-director of African Diaspora Studies at Spellman College says this wasn't the first group of Africans in America. There were others already taken to what were then Spanish, Portuguese and French territories. But this does mark the first arrival to English North America.

ASIA LEEDS, CO-DIRECTOR, AFRICAN DIASPORA STUDIES: It marks a beginning of the foundations of this nation of which is slavery is deeply embedded. So we have the beginnings of not just U.S. governing systems, right, they emerge out of this colonial history but also the foundations of American wealth.

CHEN: And now African-Americans can be part of that wealth in spite of continued struggles of inequality. UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Now we are engineers, lawyers, doctors, presidents, maybe a future female president. But we have come a long way.

CHEN: And while they look at the traditions that made them who they are, the next generation is also looking at what their world could be.

BRYCEN DILDY, STUDENT, LARKSPUR MIDDLE SCHOOL, VIRGINIA BEACH: Imagine the problems that would be solved if all people were kind and feel cared for. It doesn't matter what your race or religion may be, we all deserve kindness.

VAN JONES, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Can we talk about where we are going. And can we talk about what is necessary to get there, as we look at the next 400 years.

CHEN: The group gathered here around a bell that dated back to the Civil War. They rang that bell along with other bells that they brought for four minutes, one minute representing each of the centuries since the ship White Lion has landed here.

Natasha Chen, CNN -- Camden, Virginia.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

VANIER: A comedian helps a city recover from tragedy. We will tell you what Dave Chappelle did for Dayton, Ohio three weeks after a horrific mass shooting there.

[01:49:30] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

VANIER: It's been a violent weekend in the U.S. state of Missouri. A 15-year-old boy is the latest victim of gun violence.

Police say the teenager, Sentonio Cox, was found dead with a gunshot wound in St. Louis. The local media reports his mother found his body in an empty lot.

And he is the second child to die from gun violence there this weekend. An eight-year-old, an eight-year-old was shot and killed on Friday. St. Louis's mayor announced a $25,000 reward for tips in the shooting deaths and pleaded with anyone with information to come forward.

The city of Dayton, Ohio meanwhile is still recovering from a tragic mass shooting that left nine people dead. And now they're getting a little help from the comedian Dave Chappelle. On Sunday, he hosted a benefit concert to honor the survivors and the families of the victims.

CNN's Polo Sandoval was there.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

POLO SANDOVAL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: What was the best way to describe the size of the crowd that's gathered in downtown Dayton on Sunday is just massive as many people from around the community gathering in the Oregon district in downtown Dayton, Ohio, the same place where three weeks to the day, the sound of gunfire filled the air and ending the lives of nine innocent people here.

Though the whole purpose behind this is really to pay tribute to them according to the main organizer, of course. You know, actor and comedian Dave Chappelle, who happens to live just outside of the Dayton area.

For the last several weeks he has been efforting (ph) this block party that gathered many prominent names and entertainers with the sole purpose to not only pay tribute to those who died on this very street, but also to reemphasize that message that they want out. That is that here in Dayton, neighbors are helping neighbors.

Here's what he said during our conversation backstage.

[01:55:01] DAVE CHAPPELLE, ACTOR, COMEDIA: Dayton had a tough year, man. They had a planned rally (ph) this year. We had a tornado tear up the north side of the city. And then that shooting happened.

And I think that just locally, there's a determination, not only let that define us. And you know, just shake the fear, think about people that have -- maybe there is a reasonable fear not because the climate is so out of hand, and every once in a while I think it's good for neighbors to reaffirm to one another that we are neighbors. Like no matter what it is, you know, we are neighbors.

And these people have been wanting neighbors for me, man. Like this area in Dayton, is like one of the most viable blocks in the city where everyone comes to like relax, entertain themselves. You know, our kids come down here, hang out and party.

So for something like this to happen, we really have to take a moment like that and I think the best way to honor the people that were slain and even injured and this is to pick yourselves up and to pick your city up and be better than you were before.

Otherwise, you don't want anyone to die in vain or suffer in vain. There's a lot of people suffering and it really affected the community a lot.

But the way we are coming out of it I think is what makes it such a great place to live.

SANDOVAL: You said something else but when things got started and I think the rest of the country would have followed them extremely excited to hear, police to hear which was -- this is for every victim of every mass shooting in the country. But specifically because it happened on the heels of El Paso.

So can just you elaborate on that a little bit Your message to the people who may not --

CHAPPELLE: I grew up in Washington, so that city always makes the news. I moved to New York and that city always makes news. And Los Angeles can't stop talking about itself.

But these people are often forgotten. You know what I mean. And then something like this happens in your city and you think of all the other times it happened, it makes it all very real.

You realize these are numbers, these are people's lives, and it hurts. Not even a political way, but just in a human way, it's like hopefully we can usher in an era where people are more kind to each other and treat each other better.

SANDOVAL: And Chappelle also making it a point that it wasn't just his voice, but other fellow artists that he called upon to join him here in Dayton to try to get this message out as the healing continues, not just from the physical wounds of those emotional ones, the psychological ones and that's a kind of healing I'm told that's going to continue for a very long time.

Polo Sandoval, CNN -- Dayton, Ohio.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

VANIER: Thank you so much for watching CNN NEWSROOM.

I'm Cyril Vanier.

George Howell and Rosemary Church will be your host next. We are in great hands. have a fantastic day.

Stay with CNN.

[01:57:41] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

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