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Conservation Groups: G7 Amazon Pledge Insufficient; U.S. Judge Rules Against Johnson & Johnson; Indonesia To Build New Capital City In Borneo; Giant Pumice Stone Drifts Towards Great Barrier Reef; Puerto Rico Declares State Of Emergency Ahead Of Dorian. Aired 2-3a ET
Aired August 27, 2019 - 02:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ROSEMARY CHURCH, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): A G7 shakeup: Trump skips a major meeting on climate change, sends mixed messages on diplomacy with Iran and China and leaves behind a lot of confusion at this year's summit.
And a stunning verdict in the U.S. opioid crisis: a judge orders Johnson & Johnson to pay more than $0.5 billion, holding the drug company responsible for addicted users.
Plus it is the size of Manhattan and it could save a major endangered ecosystem, we will tell you about the gigantic pumice stone floating towards Australia and why it is really good news for the Great Barrier Reef.
Hello and welcome to our viewers joining us from all around the, world I'm Rosemary Church and this is CNN NEWSROOM.
CHURCH: U.S. president Donald Trump stayed through the end of this G7 summit as opposed to last year's walkout. The meeting wrapped up without agreement on some major issues and plenty of confusion on the U.S.-China trade war. Jim Acosta reports.
JIM ACOSTA, CNN SR. WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The G7 proved to be a slippery summit for President Trump. After days of rattling world markets in his trade war with China, the president made conflicting claims that officials in Beijing were reaching out to his administration to ease tensions.
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: And I very much appreciate the fact that they came out last night, very late last night and they said, they want to make a deal. They want it to be under calm circumstances. ACOSTA: The president started the day claiming his team had received reassuring calls from Chinese officials, but China all but said Mr. Trump was exaggerating.
TRUMP: We have gotten two calls and very, very good calls, very productive calls. They mean business. They want to be able to make a deal.
ACOSTA: Later in the day, the president didn't want to talk about whether the calls had occurred.
TRUMP: I don't want to talk about calls. We have had calls. We have had calls at the highest levels. But I don't want to talk about that.
ACOSTA: At a news conference, President Trump pointed to his Treasury Secretary.
TRUMP: Secretary Mnuchin is here.
ACOSTA: Who would only say that both sides are talking.
QUESTION: But there were phone calls, sir? Mr. President, there were calls?
TRUMP: Numerous calls.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Communications that went back and forth.
ACOSTA: That followed confusion created by the president over the weekend, when he seemed to say he was having second thoughts about his trade war.
QUESTION: Mr. President, any second thoughts on escalating the trade war with China?
TRUMP: Yes, sure. Why not?
ACOSTA: A comment the White House later walked back.
(on camera): It sounds as though you're trying to clean up what the president said this morning.
STEVEN MNUCHIN, U.S. TREASURY SECRETARY: We're not cleaning -- we're not cleaning anything up.
ACOSTA (voice-over): On whether Vladimir Putin would be invited to the next summit, the president gave a misleading answer about why Russia was kicked out of the G8, dancing around the fact that it was punishment for Moscow's actions in Ukraine.
TRUMP: President Obama was not happy that this happened, because it was embarrassing to him, right? It was very embarrassing to him. And he wanted Russia to be out of the -- what was called the G8. And that was his determination. He was outsmarted by Putin.
ACOSTA: But that's not true. And Mr. Trump got testy when he was called out for it.
TRUMP: I know you like President Obama, but it was annexed during President Obama's term.
ACOSTA: The president was evasive on whether he would meet with Iran's president, too.
TRUMP: He's a great negotiator, but he -- I think he's going to want to meet. I think Iran wants to get this situation straightened out.
ACOSTA: In perhaps the most lasting image from this summit, Mr. Trump was missing in action on climate change, skipping a meeting devoted to the global challenge.
The White House claimed the president was absent because he had meetings with leaders from Germany and India, but that's also not true. Those leaders were at the climate meeting. Asked about his past skepticism of climate change, something he's called a Chinese hoax, Mr. Trump bragged about the U.S. energy industry.
TRUMP: And I'm not going to lose that wealth, I'm not going to lose it on dreams, on windmills, which, frankly, aren't working too well. I'm not going to lose it. And I'm an environmentalist. A lot of people don't understand that.
ACOSTA: The president flat-out refused to say whether he believed that climate change is happening as he left.
CHURCH: So let's take a look at all of this with CNN national security analyst Samantha Vinograd, always great to have you with us.
SAMANTHA VINOGRAD, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: Thanks for having me.
CHURCH: So a head spinning G7 summit meeting, full of falsehoods and mixed messages from the U.S. president, what, if anything, did he achieve at this year's meeting and what did his behavior reveal to the world?
VINOGRAD: I think he achieved a few things but perhaps by accident. Macron was a shrewd host and perhaps by coordinating with other G7 leaders, the G6 if you will, he managed to get Trump to make some headway on at least two key areas, one on trade for, now --
VINOGRAD: -- and on Iran for now. On trade, President Trump came out of this summit striking a much more conciliatory tone on China than when he went in. That may have been because he really heard a chorus of criticism from leaders, from Macron and Merkel all the way to Boris Johnson and the Italian prime minister, criticizing the United States' protectionism and urging President Trump to walk back or at least to declare a truce with respect to the trade war with China. So that is bucket number one; bucket number two is on Iran, there
seems to be -- and stressing here, having worked on diplomacy with Iran -- some kind of diplomatic opening between the United States and Iran, that Macron is mediating. We have gone from Trump taking a maximalist position towards Iran, saying he is willing to talk and now it looks like the Iranians as well may consider coming to the table with the United States.
So there was some progress by the American president but he seems to have been led there based on a coordinated effort from his peers rather than a proactive decision from his part.
CHURCH: Right and let's tackle China first, President Trump claims that China called numerous times, wanting to sit down and make a trade, deal. Turns out that was not the case, what damage does President Trump's unique negotiation style now have on the credibility of the U.S. president, particularly when it comes from trade issues, not just the United States but the world?
VINOGRAD: I think the bottom line is, actions speak larger than words or tweets, President Trump very often, when it comes to negotiations -- and frankly any other topic -- lies. Imaginary phone calls -- and it's just the tip of the iceberg.
When it comes to China, whether actually notifying the U.S. trade representative or paperwork on tariffs, actually speaking with his counterpart, President Xi Jinping, actually having the negotiators meet with the Chinese to hammer out details, he talks a big game.
But there hasn't been much actual progress or much actual movement. It is unclear whether he will actually move forward with more tariffs or whether he will put them on hold.
Remember just about two weeks ago he announced he was delaying tariffs, he previously announced, because of fears of the impact on the U.S. economy. So when it comes to all things China and trade -- and frankly everything else that the president talks about -- we have to see when he signs on the dotted line, when there is actual action rather than just bluster.
CHURCH: Right and, of course, President Trump also defends his plan bringing Russia back into the G7 to make it the G8 but with no preconditions attached.
How likely is it that he can and will do that and what power do the other G7 nations have on that very issue?
VINOGRAD: Well, we don't even know if Russia wants to be back into what would be the G8, so step one might be to talk to Vladimir Putin, something that President Trump is seemingly comfortable doing.
Allowing Russia back into the G7 would mean there would have to be a coordinated decision by the other leaders. Russia was kicked out because they violated the territorial integrity of another, country, something Trump doesn't seem both by with respect to U.S. boundaries or boundaries overseas, based on his stance on election, interference. But Trump would have to coordinate with other leaders. Now the potential avenue for Trump here is he is hosting next year's G7. He could pull a Macron if you will invite Vladimir Putin to come to meetings on the sidelines of the G7.
But it seems unlikely that the other leaders would go along with readmitting Russia when Russia hasn't changed its illegal behavior, it's doubled down on it.
CHURCH: Right and you've touched on the U.S. president saying that he wants to make a new nuclear deal with Iran, he thinks that country's leader will want to meet with him to discuss this.
As you mentioned Emmanuel Macron really was the one who got this all in motion, how likely is it that this will happen and what would that deal likely look like, do you think?
VINOGRAD: Well, having worked on Iran nuclear negotiation, I'm not a betting woman because there are so many uncertain factors and frankly whatever we are seeing in front of the cameras is really not indicative of what is happening behind the scenes.
That said the deal with Iran would only be reached if there were some kind of -- from the Iranian perspective, some kind of access to funds. Iran has said they will continue to advance their nuclear program unless they get sanctions relief.
And President Trump may be able to find a workaround on that front, even if he won't lift sanctions. He said eerier today he might consider establishing a line of credit. There could be a special purpose vehicle established, there could be sanctions waivers.
So there is a way to get to what Iran wants, at least in the short term. Iran likely at this point would just have to live up to its nuclear agreements under the JCPOA, the Iran nuclear deal. President Trump --
VINOGRAD: -- said he wants a bigger and better deal. But we all know that he wanted a bigger and better deal with North Korea and he's pretty satisfied with something far below that.
So from my perspective, if Iran agreed to adhere to its JCPOA commitments, perhaps extended the timelines a little bit so that Trump could say he did better than Obama, that would satisfy President Trump's position.
CHURCH: At the same time stamp his name on it rather than --
VINOGRAD: The trump deal, yes.
CHURCH: Right and Mr. Trump says he is an environmentalist but he says he won't lose wealth on windmills and he also says he doesn't do anything for politics.
So why didn't he turn out for the G7 climate change meeting and how does that play on the world stage?
VINOGRAD: Donald Trump is as far from an environmentalist as I am from a belly dancer, two things neither of us are very good at.
President Trump domestically has made climate change not just not a priority, he's actually taken a series of efforts by rolling back environmental standards that make climate change more of a reality.
He's not just a denier of climate change, he is an accelerator in many respects when you look at his policies. His absence speaks volumes, he gave a shoddy excuse as to why he wasn't there. His team said he was doing bilateral meetings with two other leaders, who by the way happened to show up to the climate panel.
And having been at the summits before, presidents show up at sessions that really matter to them so it is not surprising that President Trump didn't show up, nor that he lied and tried to paint himself as something that he is not. He does that quite often.
The larger issue here is that the United States is such an outlier on this issue, we withdrew from the Paris climate accord, we are not even participating in leaders' meetings on climate change.
And that is really dangerous from a U.S. national security perspective because climate change is having such an adverse impact on us all, including us Americans here at home.
CHURCH: Also the U.S. president says he may host the next G7 summit at his Florida golf resort.
What are the ramifications of a U.S. president seem to be profiting from a global meeting like that?
VINOGRAD: President Trump has done this consistently since he came into office. There is open source reporting about foreign delegation staying at the Trump hotel, there is open source reporting about how Mar-a-lago is being used in a variety of ways that represent conflicts of interest, not to mention the security implications of having foreigners frequent these properties that are not as secure as other presidential sites.
It really just signals that President Trump considers his personal business a priority either above or equal to American business. And from a counter intelligence perspective, it just signifies to foreign governments that if they in some way help him to personally profit, they'll probably get on his good side. And that is a pretty dangerous signal to send.
CHURCH: Interesting times, Samantha, appreciate your analysis always.
Well, in contrast to the U.S. president, who left behind a trail of confusion and chaos, the new British prime minister, Boris Johnson, walked away with a few accomplishments, CNN's Anna Stewart has a report.
(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) ANNA STEWART, CNN REPORTER (voice over): He may not be the smoothest political operator. Britain's prime minister certainly knows how to put a smile on the face of his counterparts, receiving a particularly warm welcome from U.S. president Donald Trump.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: You know who this is?
Does everybody know?
He is going to be a fantastic prime minister -- fantastic.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
STEWART (voice over): The president says he will do and I quote, "A very big trade deal with the U.K." A win for Johnson and yet the prime minister still plucked up the courage to rebuke the president over his trade, albeit gently.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BORIS JOHNSON, BRITISH PRIME MINISTER: It's fantastic to see that. But just to register the faint, sheep-like note of our view on the trade war.
We're in favor of the trade peace on the whole and dialing it down if we can."
(END VIDEO CLIP)
STEWART: Then there was the other Donald to deal with, E.U. Council President Donald Tusk, who kicked off the summit with a dire a warning for the prime minister.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TUSK, PRESIDENT EUROPEAN UNION COUNCIL: And I still hope that Prime Minister Johnson would not like to go down in history as Mr. No Deal.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
STEWART (voice over): Johnson managed to turn that frown upside down.
JOHNSON: But so far, in this G7, I think it would be fair to say, Donald, you and I have spent most of the conversations in completely glutinous agreement on most of the issues that have been raised.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
STEWART (voice over): Outside that busy meeting schedule. The prime minister even found time for a dip.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) JOHNSON: Let me give you a metaphor. I swam around that rock this morning, OK? Now from here, that huge rock there -- from here you cannot tell that there is a gigantic hole in that rock. There is a way through.
I want to point to the E.U. --
QUESTION: Did you go through?
JOHNSON: I point to the E.U. --
QUESTION: There's a hole.
JOHNSON: There a way through, but you can't find the way through if you just sit on the beach.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
STEWART (on camera): All jokes aside, the optics around Boris Johnson's first summit as prime minister are important. He will return to Downing Street with assurances from the leaders of the United States, Canada --
STEWART: -- Japan, amongst others about a future trading relationship after Brexit.
But he also returns having scored highly on his charm offensive, displaying a natural aptitude for showmanship that actually put the U.K. front and center of the G7 summit.
STEWART (voice over): And highlighting the difference with his reserved predecessor, Theresa May, who earned the moniker Maybot for her wooden performances. Little wonder, the prime minister has a spring in his step -- Anna Stewart, CNN, London.
CHURCH: And coming up next on CNN NEWSROOM, for one indigenous tribe in Brazil, the Amazon fires are more than just an environmental disaster. It's an assault on their way of life. You will hear their story, that's next.
CHURCH: President Trump skipped the climate change meeting at the G7 summit, citing a scheduling conflict, his chair sat empty as the other six world leaders tackled the crisis in the Amazon. Canada is offering more than $11 million to fight the fires as well as water bombers. It is not entirely clear if any portion of this donation is part of
the $20 million G7 emergency fund unveiled by French president Emmanuel Macron.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
EMMANUEL MACRON, PRESIDENT OF FRANCE (through translator): There was a true convergence so 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 analyze this (ph).
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CHURCH: But Brazilian president Bolsonaro is actually pushing back, accusing Macron of treating the Amazon like a colony or a no man's land that needs to be saved. He wants his country's sovereignty to be respected.
Brazil's president is also at odds with another group, the Waiapi tribe that have lived deep in the heart of the Amazon for decades. Bolsonaro wants to open up their land to miners and cattle ranchers for economic development.
As Isa Soares reports, the results could be catastrophic for the Waiapis' way of life as well as the environment. Her report includes exclusive video from a filmmaker recorded in the Waiapi --
CHURCH: -- village in northeastern Brazil.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (from captions): Butterfly, we are singing for the butterfly. What are you doing, butterflies?
ISA SOARES, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): For as long as anyone can remember, the Waiapi tribe have been the stewards of these waters and the land that caresses it. I return, the Amazon rain forest has given back, with every drop and seed safeguarding their livelihood, tradition and ultimately their survival.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (from captions): We live inside the lung of the Amazon, because the Amazon brings health to us. Health of the World. This air is of the world. Polluted air means problems to us, health problems, sadness. This is why we care about climate change and is our concern, we Waiapi indigenous.
SOARES (voice-over): But the isolated Waiapi, 1,500 strong 92 villages in Anapa state, say they've never felt so under threat as they do today.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (from captions): Some time ago we lived well. We did not worry about land. We did not know that we would have many invaders, loggers and prospectors in the future. Many talk about our land. They said that they will take our land.
SOARES (voice-over): And it seems not even the demarcation setup Brazil's 1988 constitution can protect them, that is now perilously close with president Jair Bolsonaro calling for protected and demarcated parts of the Amazon to be opened up to roads, ranching, farming and mining, arguing this demarcated area is too large for the indigenous and is hindering development.
On the ground the Waiapi tell us they have already begun to feel the impact of his words and policies.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (from captions): This government is massacring our rights and our indigenous peoples.
SOARES (voice-over): With gutting pados (ph) (INAUDIBLE) miners, loggers and ranchers invading and assaulting their land.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (from captions): They're already started killing the indigenous people. We do not want to lose another drop of blood.
SOARES (voice-over): Audio provided to Brazilian journalists just after their chief was killed on July 22nd shows their urgency for action.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (from captions): He was stabbed multiple times in his body and his genitals. He was killed cruelly.
SOARES (voice-over): But they say the savagery didn't stop there.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (from captions): They are entering indigenous houses and are assaulting children, assaulting women.
(END AUDIO CLIP)
SOARES (voice-over): They may be shaken but the Waiapi are not running scared. Instead, in silence, they ward off evil spirits and ready for battle.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (from captions): We will never let them touch our land. We will never stop fighting. We will fight forever. I've always been here and I won't go out.
SOARES (voice-over): Their fight has taken them all the way to the United Nations.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (from captions): With the election of Jair Bolsonaro president of Brazil, it increases the threat to our rights and our territories. We do not accept mining on our land. He does not respect our culture.
SOARES (voice-over): The Brazilian government says there was no credible evidence that the chief was murdered, with the minister of the environment adding that the chief drank too much and fell into the river.
But according to Amazon Watch, there have been at least 14 cases of invasions and assaults into indigenous territories by land grabbers, loggers and miners, who have left their dark stain on indigenous people and on the world's greatest rain forest, with fire scorching the land at an unseen rate.
The Waiapi have luckily been safe from the fire but remain threatened by Bolsonaro's environmental policies.
The yellow marks here shows the scale of deforestation which has increased more than 60 percent in June compared to last year. That is over 750 --
SOARES (voice-over): -- square miles of lost land. Put it simply, that is 1.5 soccer fields being destroyed every minute of every day.
AJAREATY WAIAPI, VILLAGE CHIEF (from captions): Our concern here is that if the forest is gone, people will also end.
SOARES (voice-over): So while the Waiapi wait for the world to act, life goes on here, 59-year-old chief Ajareaty goes to school to learn Portuguese.
WAIAPI (from captions): I said I want to learn what non-indigenous life is like. How is their life ... I want to know how to speak their language. I want to know so I can talk to the white people out there.
SOARES (voice-over): Teaching the next generation.
WAIAPI (from captions): I want my daughter to be just like me, a chief.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (from captions): She always talks about the fight for the land, of our land. This is very important for me.
SOARES (voice-over): Traditions that have protected their ancient lands, actions that defend the very air that we breathe -- Isa Soares, CNN.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (from captions): We are singing for the butterfly.
CHURCH: CNN reached out to the press office of the Brazilian president about his government's policies for the Amazon and was told the president would make no comments. CNN also contacted the environment ministry as well as Brazil's National Indigenous Affairs agency.
There was no reply from the environment ministry and the Indigenous Affairs agency redirected us to the president's office and the press office for the ministry of the environment. Well, a landmark ruling in the opioid crisis that has ravaged cities across the United States, a judge is ordering drug giant Johnson & Johnson to pay more than $0.5 billion, what this means for a flurry of other opioid lawsuits, that is next.
Plus Jakarta is on the move, all of it, the Indonesian capital is packing and moving, out we will tell you where and why in just a moment.
CHURCH: Welcome back I'm Rosemary Church, want to update you on the stories we've been following.
An Oklahoma judge has ordered Johnson & Johnson to pay more half a billion dollars for its role in the opioid epidemic in the United States. The company says it will appeal. Alexandra Field has the details.
ALEXANDRA FIELD, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: A landmark decision indeed right here in Oklahoma. This is the first state to take to trial a pharmaceutical company, accusing Johnson & Johnson of fueling the opioid crisis in this state through misleading marketing of two of its drugs. They say the company created a public nuisance that cost the state billions of dollars and devastated thousands of lives.
In court, after eight weeks of trial, after more than 100 witnesses were heard, a judge ruled in favor of the state, ordering Johnson & Johnson to pay some $572 million. Money that will go toward treatment and prevention programs. Johnson & Johnson says their drugs are necessary for legal pain management. They say that they have abided by all state and federal laws. They say there are a number of grounds on which they can appeal, and they believe that the company is being used as a scapegoat for a larger social problem.
This ruling will be looked at across the country. There are dozens of states that would like to follow in Oklahoma's footsteps. There's also a federal trial that would kick off this fall. It involves a couple of thousand claims from cities, communities, municipalities across the country that would all like to see big pharmaceutical companies held responsible for fueling an epidemic. In Norman, Oklahoma, Alexandra Field, CNN.
CHURCH: Regina LaBelle joins me now from Washington. She was the Chief of Staff of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy during the Obama administration. Thank you so much for being with us.
REGINA LABELLE, FORMER CHIEF OF STAFF, OFFICE OF NATIONAL DRUG CONTROL POLICY UNDER OBAMA ADMINISTRATION: Thank you for having me on.
CHURCH: So Johnson & Johnson was ordered to pay $572 million in a landmark opioid trial, essentially being told by the judge, it broke the law. What are the implications for that company and, of course, other drugmakers in the United States, given what happened here?
LABELLE: So Johnson & Johnson filed an appeal of the judge's decision quickly after the judge came out with this decision today, this afternoon. So, any monies going to that state will be delayed pending the appeal. And so, the implications are limited, because this was a state public nuisance case. So, it's state law that they were -- that the judge was interpreting. And he found that indeed, in this case, they had not only misled their -- in their marketing techniques, but they also created a public nuisance.
And he found that they, through their marketing, and their efforts were misleading the public to create a public nuisance that caused an increase in addiction and an increase in overdose states in the state of deaths, in the State of Oklahoma.
CHURCH: Right. And you mentioned the appeal, and they say that they're going to pursue that vigorously. How would that likely go, do you think on an appeal on this?
LABELLE: Well, I mean, so it would really they said that they had both facts, and that they would have to base the appeal on fact, as well as a disagreement with how the judge interpreted the law. The judge was pretty firm in his position. And I think that the Attorney General and his staff and attorneys did a very good job laying out the connection and the causation between the marketing techniques and the overdose deaths that were -- that happened in the state.
So, it's really fact specific. And I think that one of the issues that people were looking at is the -- how this will affect the over 2,000 lawsuits nationwide. This is the first one that's a public nuisance case. It is very spec specific to Oklahoma.
[02:35:06] But it's a -- I think it's a big win for plaintiffs around the country who are looking to the future to those, you know, more than 2,000 cases. Two of which beginning in Ohio in October.
CHURCH: Yes, and the state of Oklahoma wanted $17 billion. So, why was Johnson & Johnson ordered to pay just a very small portion of that?
LABELLE: So, the judge in his decision said that the state has proven that for basically that they get one year of mitigation, so they get one year of damages. He didn't go into a lot of detail about that. Basically, he just said that they had proven that that much of the case, not $17 billion worth but, you know, 572 million. CHURCH: Right. And just very quickly, how is it possible that a company like Johnson & Johnson and others are able to market so aggressively a drug that's so dangerous, so addictive, and deadly in many instances?
LABELLE: Well, I think that the marketing practices are what's at issue here. And whether or not as these cases go forward, in the wake of these, yes, people are -- we -- a lot of these states, they desperately need the money. But the other question is, how will marketing practices change in the future? And will the courts force those types of changes?
CHURCH: Right, indeed, Regina LaBelle, thank you so much for joining us. We do appreciate your analysis and feedback on this issue.
LABELLE: Thank you for having me.
CHURCH: Well, the city of Jakarta is sinking at an alarming rate. The sprawling metropolis is overpopulated, clogged with traffic and full of choking air pollution, and now, it's at risk of being swallowed up by the Java Sea. So, Indonesia's president will build a new capital in Borneo. CNN's Lynda Kinkade has that story.
LYNDA KINKADE, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: Jakarta is sinking. Scientists say the sprawling capital of Indonesia, which is home to more than 10 million people is dropping below sea levels at alarming rates. The government of Indonesia announced Monday that it now wants to move its capital from Jakarta to the island of Borneo. Indonesian President Joko Widodo says the new capital which is yet to be named, will be in a safer, more centralized place.
JOKO WIDODO, PRESIDENT OF INDONESIA (through translator): The place has minimum risk of natural disasters, such as floods, earthquakes, tsunami, forest fire, volcanoes, and landslides. Secondly, the location is strategic as it's located in the center of Indonesia.
KINKADE: But critics are concerned that building a new city in Borneo will destroy more of the island's forests which are home to orangutans and other wildlife already under threat by the palm oil industry.
Some residents say Indonesia should concentrate on fixing the problems in Jakarta, where residents is struggling to cope with pollution, traffic, and frequent flooding.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): In the past, it was not like this. It was nicer and the seawater was good. The beach sand was nice. And we could still play in the water. We now can't do it anymore. The water is murky, dirty. Every high tide it's flooded.
KINKADE: Reports say North Jakarta could be 90 percent submerged in the next 30 years. It's already built on swampy ground with water now spilling over from the Java Sea and the city's 13 Rivers.
Although water is everywhere, it's not fit to drink. People must rely on underground aquifers which will weaken the city's foundation, making it easier for the city to slip into the sea.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): Now, why has the water level become higher than my home? I am now below water level, maybe because the seawater is eating up the soil little by little. That's what I know.
KINKADE: Indonesia's president says Jakarta will continue to be the country's financial capital. That it's unclear how he plans to stop the city's decline with another city ready to rise as soon as Parliament gives its approval. Lynda Kinkade, CNN.
CHURCH: And you are watching CNN NEWSROOM. Coming up, nature appears to have a solution to Australia's endangered Great Barrier Reef. And it's in the form of this giant floating pumice stone. We speak to an expert, that's next.
[02:40:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
CHURCH: Australian diplomats in Beijing have serious concerns about the detention of an Australian writer. Yang Hengjun was formerly arrested last Friday on suspicion of espionage. Australian Ministry of Foreign Affairs says he has been held in harsh conditions since January.
Well, Pakistan's Prime Minister is warning about what could happen if tensions keep rising with India over the disputed Kashmir region. The nuclear rivals already have fought two wars over Kashmir. And now, Imran Khan says deteriorating relations could lead to a nuclear disaster. Local officials say more than 2,000 people have been detained in Indian-controlled Kashmir since the Indian Prime Minister revoked its autonomy earlier this month.
Well, a giant pumice stone drifting towards Australia right now could help heal that country's endangered Great Barrier Reef. Sailors first spotted the massive sheet of volcanic rock early this month, days after an underwater volcano is believed to erupted near the Pacific island of Tonga.
The so-called pumice raft is the size of New York's Manhattan. Scientists say it could have a positive effect on the Great Barrier Reef's microorganisms after half its corals was killed in recent years due to climate change.
So, let's bring in Peter Harrison of Australia's Southern Cross University. He is Director at the Institute for Development, Environment and Sustainability. Good to have you with us.
PETER HARRISON, DIRECTOR OF INSTITUTE FOR DEVELOPMENT, ENVIRONMENT, AND SUSTAINABILITY, SOUTHERN CROSS UNIVERSITY (via Skype): Thank you, Rosemary.
CHURCH: So, as these giant pumice stone drifts towards the Great Barrier Reef, some scientists believe it can help replenish the damaged reef. Others suggest that's wishful thinking, and the pumice stone could actually cause more damage to the reef. What's your view on this?
HARRISON: I don't believe there are going to be enough coral larvae or corals attached to the floating pumice to have any significant impact on the replenishment of corals that we so desperately need on the Great Barrier Reef.
So, although we do know that very occasionally, coral larvae do settle on some of the floating pumice, and they do survive and therefore can occasionally be transported over large distances. The rates of larval input and the rates of corals needed to come into the Great Barrier Reef are going too far exceed this unusual pumice floating event.
CHURCH: So, why was there all of this excitement among some scientists suggesting this was the arrival of the cavalry in essence for the Great Barrier Reef?
HARRISON: Yes, it's an unusual story. I guess some people are looking for solutions, and any of these unusual natural events -- we know that pumice is created. Quite often we know that it floats around, we know that it collects some organisms, particularly bacteria, etc. And so, the size of this particular pumice raft is what's particularly unusual at this stage. But, in reality, it's not going to have a significant impact in terms of allowing new corals to come into the Great Barrier Reef region at large scales.
CHURCH: So --
HARRISON: It may have --
CHURCH: Yes, I was going to ask you, saying it won't have a significant impact. But it could have an impact of sorts.
HARRISON: Yes. It could do. And that we do know that very occasionally corals successfully do raft from one region to another. So, what this event highlights to me is the fact that we have fascinating connectivity patterns in the marine world, including unusual events such as this. Which might actually connect some corals from out in the Pacific and bring those genes into some of the populations on the Great Barrier Reef.
We don't yet know whether or not there are any coral larvae or juvenile corals on this pumice. It's the wrong time of the year for most larvae to be produced. But occasionally, there are pools of larvae available.
So, what would be more interesting to me is whether or not we actually do get some corals even a small number that do come into the Great Barrier Reef, survive and then, become part of the bigger mix gene pool that we need on the Great Barrier Reef.
CHURCH: And how long would it take to make a determination as to whether some positive activity had occurred in that regard?
HARRISON: It's a really good question. The short answer is we really don't know whether or not coral larvae are actually settling on the pumice. We don't know how many there would be at this particular time of the year.
We know that the survival rates will be pretty low, so there's a very low chance that this will actually result in something significant. But, it's not entirely improbable. It's happened in the past in terms of allowing some corals to move around to new locations, so it is possible.
CHURCH: And the other question, of course, I mean, this giant pumice stone is drifting in that particular area. But it could keep moving, couldn't it? So, unless it actually stays around the Great Barrier Reef, it may not have any impact at all.
HARRISON: That's right. We might actually see that the current start reversing. We know that pumice is highly buoyant, and therefore it's subject to a whole lot of wind-driven activity.
At the moment, it appears to be heading towards the Great Barrier Reef. But, it will encounter very strong currents and different environment conditions and different wind shear as it comes closer to the Great Barrier. So, it may become very dispersed and only some of this may actually end up entering into Great Barrier Reef environments.
CHURCH: So, is there any time in history that you recall and in science, of course, where a pumice stone of maybe this magnitude or close to it has benefited a particular environment in the sea?
HARRISON: I'm not aware of any events like this at this large scale. That's what makes it unusual and that's what makes it newsworthy. There is a potential for some of this pumice to come into the Great Barrier Reef area. My guess is that most of it will contain some microorganisms, some of those might be entirely neutral in terms of their impact. There may be some pathogens there or there may be some beneficial microorganisms.
Some of that pumice might actually be incorporated into some of the intertidal reef zones initially. And as it gets ground up, some of that material gets distributed in the Great Barrier Reef.
But as you mentioned, it's the sheer size of this particular raft of pumice which makes it so unusual and highlights the chance of connectivity over thousands of kilometers of marine area.
CHURCH: Well, Peter Harrison, thank you so much for your analysis. A lot of disappointed people no doubt who have had the expectation that this was a heroic pumice stone on the way to save the Great Barrier Reef. But we'll watch and see, there may be some form of impact. We just don't know at this point, do we?
Thank you so much for joining us. Appreciate it.
HARRISON: You're welcome.
CHURCH: Well, Tropical Storm Dorian is barreling closer to Puerto Rico and the government is assuring (INAUDIBLE) citizens that it is prepared. The latest on where it's headed and how strong it's getting. That's next.
And physical touch is clearly not their love language. We look at the personal moments between world leaders at the G7 summit, you got to see it. It's very funny, after the break.
[02:51:11] CHURCH: Well, Puerto Rico's governor has declared a state of emergency as Tropical Storm Dorian draws closer to the island. Meteorologists expect Tropical Storm Dorian to strengthen to a Category 1 hurricane, bringing winds of nearly 120 kilometers per hour as it approaches the island, Wednesday.
So, let's turn to our meteorologist Pedram Javaheri, who joins us now with more on all of this. And it is -- it is horrendous, the thought. I mean, we all remember Maria and the impact of Maria. How is this looking?
PEDRAM JAVAHERI, CNN INTERNATIONAL METEOROLOGIST: That's right. You know, this is a very different storm. It's a very, very compact storm, a very different setup when it comes to what Maria, of course, was, it's a Category 4 at landfall.
This particular tropical storm here just moved over Barbados in the past couple of hours now on approach towards St. Lucia and Martinique. 85-kilometer-per-hour winds. And notice again as compact as it gets. And anytime, you look at a storm of this size and scale, they're very susceptible to their landscape, to their environments. So, even small islands can do a number on a storm as such as Dorian.
And we'll kind of watch this because, over the next couple of days, the storm does have just about a 36-hour window here to try to strengthen. And beyond that, we get a little bit of wind shear, we get some drier air and with that, really, we think nothing more than a Category 1, at least at this point.
Notice, tropical storm warnings have been issued from Martinique, towards Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent, and the Grenadines across this region. And then, beyond this to the west and northwest, we do have tropical storm watches there including for the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico, as the track on this particular system does want to take it to the north and west.
And we think sometime around, say a Wednesday evening, this reaches its highest category. Potentially a Category 1 at this point, just either offshore of the southwestern coast there of Puerto Rico or potentially move in towards and make landfall in that corner of Puerto Rico.
But, notice this, the island of Hispaniola extremely mountainous. So, depending on how much it interacts with that island really plays a role into what is left at this particular storm.
So, we'll watch this into the next few days, the guidance on this, and typically, when you're looking at say, 3, 4, 5 days out, there is a 300-kilometer margin of error with these storms. Whether it be to the west or to the east. So, this particular storm could be in an entirely different location across this region by the time we get in towards late week.
But, what we know, for now, Puerto Rico conditions will begin to deteriorate going into Wednesday night. Heavy rainfall, thunderstorms, of course, the gusty winds, and the rough seas are all there from Wednesday into Thursday.
But really, how it interacts with Puerto Rico, and again, notice that small and compact nature of the storm. And also, how it goes over the monist rate, which is this body of water that sits between the island of Hispaniola and Puerto Rico.
If it clears this region, doesn't interact with the mountains, of course, more potent storm could be left. But we think too much shear in place for this to be a predominant player beyond say, Puerto Rico and potentially, the Bahamas.
So, we'll watch this here, Rosemary, as we go in towards the latter portion of this coming week.
CHURCH: And we appreciate that most certainly. Thanks so much, Pedram.
JAVAHERI: Thank you, yes.
CHURCH: All right, now, something you don't want to see in the car next to you on the highway. A driver apparently asleep at the wheel of his Tesla on a busy California freeway. Take a look.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He's totally asleep. This is crazy.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CHURCH: OK. So, the couple who spotted this drowsy driver say it looked as if the car was going 110 to 120 kilometers an hour, but it managed to stay in its lane at the very end of the clip. The driver appears to wake up and put his hands on the wheel. It's not clear if the vehicle was on autopilot. So, it's not clear
whether that driver was having a bit of fun with those people. We hope so.
So, another story. Awkward embraces and handshakes are usually something reserved for holidays with family, not the meeting of the world's largest economies. CNN's Jeanne Moos highlights the best hugs and kisses from this year's G7 summit.
(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) [02:55:10] JEANNE MOOS, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Who needs a summit ending communique when we can see leaders communicate with their hands?
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: He actually speaks very good English, he just doesn't want to talk.
MOOS: And when all the Trump critics out there love to do, what India's prime minister did. But as usual --
TRUMP: Thank you.
EMMANUEL MACRON, PRESIDENT OF FRANCE: Thank you.
MOOS: It was the Trump, Macron handshakes and hugs that had folks shaking their heads. And by the third shake during a single press conference.
MACRON: I will wait for the end of this press conference.
MOOS: Even President Trump was trying to withdraw his hand, it was reminiscent of the first white-knuckle shake between these two over two years ago. Which left President Trump, flexing his fingers.
He flexed his lips to deliver a double air kiss to German Chancellor Merkel. But when Justin Trudeau air-kissed Melania, that innocent moment became #MelaniaLovesTrudeau. Can you blame her?
It was even turned into a movie poster. This Justin: A Story Of Forbidden Love on The World Stage.
JUSTIN TRUDEAU, PRIME MINISTER OF CANADA: Always a pleasure to sit down with President Trump.
MOOS: Displaying his trademark, colorful sock. One right-wing critic noted, "Trudeau assumes a submissive position. Even a child would know who is in control." An idea President Trump, himself poo-pooed. "No, we actually had a very good and productive meeting." "I know who Melania would like in control," countered someone else.
President Trump momentarily lost control of his feet while descending a staircase. Boris Johnson was there to grab onto. And once they got to the bottom --
TRUMP: do you know who this is?
MOOS: A new British prime minister-level the playing field by stepping back up, so President Trump wouldn't tower over him. And even Justin Trudeau, finally resorted to manspreading. Jeanne Moos, CNN, New York.
CHURCH: One of Jeanne's best there, right there. Thanks for joining us this hour, I'm Rosemary Church. Remember to connect with me anytime on Twitter, @rosemarycnn, and I'll be back with more news in just a moment. You're watching CNN.