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Tropical Storm Dorian Aims For Puerto Rico; Animals Caught In The Amazon Blaze; Prince Andrew Accuser Speaks Out; Three Police Officers Killed In Gaza Blasts; U.N., Horrifying Rise In Migrant Deaths In Mediterranean; Hassan Rouhani After The Summit; China/U.S. Trade War; An Update On The College Admission Scam; Bed Bugs Jokes Bite Trump. Aired 3-3:30a ET

Aired August 28, 2019 - 03:00   ET


[03:00:00] ROSEMARY CHURCH, CNN ANCHOR: -- just hours before landfall. We will take a look at how the island is getting ready for tropical storm Dorian.

As fires rage across the Amazon, we will see how the fragile ecosystem and the many endangered animals are surviving.

And Prince Andrew urged to come clean, after the victims of Jeffrey Epstein's speak out. We will hear one woman's claim involving Britain's Prince Andrew.

Hello and welcome to our viewers joining us from all around the world, I'm Rosemary Church and this is CNN Newsroom.

Millions of people in Puerto Rico are preparing for yet another powerful storm. Two years after hurricanes Maria and Irma devastated the U.S. territory. Here is where tropical storm Dorian is right now. It has already lashed the eastern Caribbean Islands and is expected to be near hurricane-strength when it makes landfall in Puerto Rico in the coming hours.

Dorian is not nearly as powerful as hurricane Maria was, but it could cause severe flooding nonetheless. The Puerto Rican government says it's ready, residents who are still rebuilding from 2017 are not as convinced. Well, the storm is expected to hit near the city of Ponce. CNN's Omar Jimenez is there with the latest.


OMAR JIMENEZ, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: The island of Puerto Rico is preparing as best they can ahead of the landfall of Dorian. Now we are in the town Ponce, which is about 70 miles driving southwest of San Juan and there are still many places here and of course across the island. Still feeling the effects of hurricane Maria nearly two years after that devastating hurricane made landfall.

This is one of those places. I am walking on what used to be a home. This was a home that was destroyed during the course of Maria's landfall. Again, almost two years ago. And the owner here, the resident who still lives here by the way in a small -- what she described apartment back behind me, because that was what she had to retreat to once this was destroyed, says that they hope to rebuild.

But the money they received from the federal government was not enough to get them to that point. Instead they're making do with what they can. And I want you to hear from her and her words, how she described dealing with some of this devastation.

LUCY BEASCOCHEA, PONCE, PUERTO RICO RESIDENT: I'm a little bit nervous because I'm afraid to lose my second apartment that I made and we pay. And I took out some cables which belong to the old house, I took them off of the tree this morning when my brother came, seek to help me out. So I could tie the roof on the other house.

JIMENEZ: And for Puerto Rico as a whole, they are monitoring a lot of conditions. For one, the Puerto Rico National Guard says, they are monitoring Dorian's track as closely as possible and that they are ready to deploy when necessary. Of course, the island is under a state of emergency as well.

Now when you look at Ponce in particular, we spoke to the mayor here and one of the things she is concerned about is about the rainfall, and that is because there's a mountainous region, one that is a little bit more mountainous to one we are right now, just north -- in the norther part of the city of Ponce. And she says well, there are mechanisms in place to control water flow, if those are overwhelmed or not maintained properly over the course of this event, if there's a lot of flooding that could crashing into the town below.

So that is the situation they are going to continue to monitor. But again, state of emergency underway across the island. Shelters now opening and had been open for people to go to as they began to shelter and brace for Dorian making landfall.


CHURCH: Well, our meteorologist, Pedram Javaheri joins us now with more on what we can expect from the storm and Pedram, authorities seem to think they have got this for the most part, although we heard there the concerns about flooding. But residents aren't so sure going forward, what do you see?

PEDRAM JAVAHERI, CNN METEOROLOGIST: You know, I would have to be a scary situation right after just a couple years removed from such a significant hurricane. And we take a look at this feature, of course, nothing compared to what Maria was some 23 months ago, coming to shore across this region of Puerto Rico, but this is going to produce a significant amount of rainfall, potentially just as much in portions of Puerto Rico, if not more in particular around San Juan than Maria did, as far as rainfall is concern.

So this could bring in quite a bit of rainfall. In fact, if you look at the track of Dorian for the landfall within the next eight or 12 so hours compare that with the track of hurricane Maria, crossing almost the identical spot that Dorian we think will cross within the next few hours, but again, a significant weaker storm system with plenty of rainfall as the main element of concern versus the rain and the winds that Maria brought a couple years ago. But we do have tropical storm watches and also tropical storm warnings

with hurricane watches in place across portions of these islands, that includes Puerto Rico and heavy rainfall really going to begin to be felt here within the next six or so hours, as much as 200 to 300 millimeters of rainfall.

[03:05:00] If that verifies which I believe it will would be the highest amount of rainfall we've seen since September 20th 2017, which was the exact date, Maria made landfall. So this will be the wettest storm in that time span. And again, models have pretty good handle on exactly where the storm is going to end up at least in its initial phase, which is directly over the eastern corner of Puerto Rico and then it crosses north of the Turks and Caicos in the Bahamas.

And still guidance here is beginning to kind of see a little bit of spread here once we approach to land, for another landfall there are sometimes Sunday which would be some models suggesting potentially for south central or southern Florida. Other ones taking it offshore and some taking it into southern Georgia. So a lot of spread and a lot of margin of error beyond this.

Be we do believe it will want to strengthen once it does clear Puerto Rico, so category one is the best estimate at this point. Some models have suggested potentially a category two, others have kept it at a tropical storm. The National Hurricane Center splits the difference and puts a category one potentially into north central Florida or southern Georgia come Sunday afternoon. And again, rain becomes the primary concern with the storm system, and the track really going to shift inside the next couple of days, Rosemary, once the storm clears past Puerto Rico.

CHURCH: All right. I appreciate you keeping a very close eye on all of that. Pedram will continue to do so. We want to cover that tropical storm Dorian as it nears Puerto Rico and of course, you can check live updates at

Well, now, to a possible breakthrough in the showdown over emergency aid for the Amazon, which has been burning at an alarming rate for weeks. Brazil said it would be a receptive to international assistance from G7 countries as long as the Brazilian government gets to decide how the money is spent.

Earlier, President Jair Bolsonaro said he would only accept the $20 million offer, if French President Emmanuel Macron withdrew his insults against him. Mr. Macron had accused Mr. Bolsonaro of lying to him about climate commitments during trade negotiations.


JAIR BOLSONARO, PRESIDENT OF BRAZIL (through translator): Look, first of all, Mr. Macron should withdraw the insults he made against me. First, he called me a liar and then from the information that I have, he said our sovereignty over the Amazon was an open question. So in order to talk, or accept anything from France, which might be the best possible intentions, he is going to have to withdraw these words and then we can talk. (END VIDEO CLIP)

CHURCH: It's worth noting the fires raging across the rainforest could permanently change the ecosystem there with devastating results, especially for the thousands of species indigenous to the region. Shasta Darlington has our report.


SHASTA DARLINGTON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The Amazon rainforest is a living, breathing, treasure trove of life where experts say 10 percent of the earth creatures live. It's home to a multitude of species, according to the World Wildlife Fund at least 40,000 different types of plants, over 400 mammals, more than 300 reptiles and 3,000 species of freshwater fish. But with fires burning their habitat at record rates, what chances do any of them have of survival?

DANIEL ARISTIZABAL, AMAZON CONSERVATION TEAM: Every year these fires occur, this year has been bigger than the past, but it's something that the wildlife is struggling with for the last decades and we are just scared that this could be a tipping point.

DARLINGTON: Experts say it's possible that many animals will die, either from the flames, heat or smoke inhalation. Slower animals like sloths have slimmer chances of escape. Animals that can move quickly, like jaguar's have bigger odds, but with lasting consequences.

ROBERTO TROYA, WORLD WILDLIFE FUND: The jaguar need to move in very vast spaces. What will happen with those populations that they are going to migrate to quote and quote, safer places and they are going to live? They're not going to be seen in the places that had been devastated.

DARLINGTON: In the long term, it's a loss for all as the food chain will be dramatically diminished.

ARISTIZABAL: It's all connected, because what's really interesting is if you lose ones species, you create a chain reaction where you start losing other species that feed on that species.

DARLINGTON: Even after the fires are out, the scars left on the land will be life altering. Experts tell CNN the loss of tree canopies will change the ecosystems below, shedding light on amphibians used to living in the shade, and forcing some species into unfamiliar territory like the spider monkeys who lived in the top of trees.

ARISTIZABAL: You can have some species repopulating, you can have certain plants recovering and growing from the ashes. The diversity is what we are losing. We are losing species that science has not been able to identify.

DARLINGTON: A lost for the planet that could be felt for generations to come. Shasta Darlington, CNN, Sao Paulo.

(END VIDEOTAPE) [03:10:00] CHURCH: Just heartbreaking to see the impact there. And

the neighboring Bolivia, President Evo Morales is suspending his reelection campaign to focus on the Amazon fire crisis, in his country. He joined firefighters in Santa Rosa on Tuesday, Bolivia has battled more than 13,000 fires in August, a 422 percent increase from July. President Morales says, 4000 state employees and volunteers are fighting the flames, Paraguay, Chile and Spain are assisting too.

We are tracking developments in Gaza, where two deadly explosions near police checkpoints. Officials say, at least three police officers were killed, three people were wounded, Israel reported rocket fire from Gaza in recent days, but the Hamas run interior ministry has not accused Israel in these blasts and the Israeli military denies it was involved. We are seeing dramatic images like this after the explosions. Families and loved ones in mourning. The cause of the blast is not yet known.

Well, they've waited a long time to have their say. Coming up, Jeffrey Epstein's accusers to speak out in court, including one woman who says she was a sex slave for Prince Andrew. We are back in a moment.


CHURCH: For the first time we are hearing directly from a woman who claims she was forced to have sex with Britain's Prince Andrew. A group of women came forward to tell their stories of sexual abuse by Jeffrey Epstein. The well-connected financier was facing trial on sex trafficking charges until his body was found in a jail cell. One accusers says Epstein ordered her to have sex with the prince when she was 17. The prince denies the allegation.


VIRGINIA GUIFFRE, EPSTEIN ACCUSER: He knows exactly what he's done and I hope he comes clean about it. First of all, I just want to say thank you all for turning out and putting some limelight on this horrid discussion that we've had feel for the past two decades. I was recruited at a very young age from Mar-a-Lago and entrapped in the world that I did not understand and I've been fighting that very world to this day and I won't stop fighting. I will never be silent until these people are brought to justice.

BRAD EDWARDS, GUIFFRE'S ATTRONEY: If anyone wants to come over here and talk with us and answer real questions that the victims have and that we have on their behalf, we welcome that invitation. I personally extended that invitation to Prince Andrew multiple times.


CHURCH: Many of the women complained that Epstein's death denied them justice, and they urge officials to prosecute anyone who was involved.

Well, the U.N. is warning of an incredibly worrying increase in the number of migrant deaths in the Mediterranean Sea, particularly for those trying to cross to Europe from Libya. The comments from the U.N. refugee agency follow another deadly shipwreck off the Libyan coast on Tuesday. Authorities say, at least 40 migrants were killed, including women and children.


[03:15:17] UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Were just a few away now from reaching 1,000 people dying at sea for the six year in a row, and this is particularly concerning because on the central Mediterranean the route from Libya to Europe at the rate of death is rising sharply, around one in six or to one and seven people who attended the journey subsequently drown at sea, and there's an urgent need now for action to be taken to increase search and rescue capacity and that includes E.U. state vessels and the lifting of restrictions on NGO's and action taken to prevent people from drowning, trying to escape violence in Libya.


CHURCH: A U.N. spokesperson is calling for greater action from the E.U., saying sentiments of sympathy must now translate into meaningful action.


CHURCH: Iran's president is ruling out talks with Donald Trump until the U.S. lift economic sanctions. That word from Hassan Rouhani comes one day after the U.S. president seemed to open to a meeting. At the G7 summit, France's president push for talks between Tehran and the Trump administration, but now Iran is making it clear there are conditions.


HASSAN ROUHANI, IRANINAN PRESIDENT (through translator): Lift the sanctions, all the sanctions against the Iranian nation which are illegal, cruel and wrong should be lifted. If you lift all this sanctions, and if you bow your head in respect to the nation of Iran. Well, then the situation would be different.


CHURCH: Mr. Rouhani also says Iran will continue to scale back its commitments under the 2015 nuclear deal if sanctions remain.

And we are now learning new details of what happened behind the scenes at the G7 summit, as Donald Trump pushed to allow Russia back into the club. According to two diplomatic officials and a senior U.S. official, a sharp and sometimes bitter disagreement broke out between the U.S. president and several world leaders over the issue during a dinner on Saturday. The strongest resistance came from German Chancellor Angela Merkel and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson. They argued Russia had become more anti-democratic since it was ejected five year ago for its annexation of Crimea.

One major challenge President Trump faces in his reelection bid is the impact of the trade war with China. Many farmers supported him in 2016, but now they are collateral damage in the escalating battle between Washington and Beijing. As Martin Savidge reports, their patience is wearing thin.


MARTIN SAVIDGE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I'm halfway between Green Bay in Milwaukee, deep in dairy land, where the cows are black and white, the fields are green, and the voters red as their barns.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The dairy farming business is a challenge. Dairy farming has its challenges

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's more of a challenge than what we expected in our careers.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's challenging.

SAVIDGE: The average price for milk is around $16 per 100 pounds. For most farmers, that is less than the cost for them to produce it and way down from $24 per 100 pounds, they were getting five years ago.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It means, it's not as much money to go around at the end of the month.

SAVIDGE: Last year's from 700 farms in Wisconsin closed, nearly two a day.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And some of those farmers I call my friends.

SAVIDGE: To ensure that didn't happen to her, Janet Clark quit an insurance job and move back to the farm that's been in their family five generations. Like a lot of dairy farmers, she voted for President Trump.

JANET CLARK, DAIRY FARMER: I don't have second thoughts of my decision in 2016. I'm on the fence of what my decision going to be in 2020.

SAVIDGE: Trump's trade disputes have hurt dairy prices and dairy exports. To diversify dairy farms started growing crops, corn, soy, whose prices have also been hurt by trade tariffs.

So you are back up business is also suffering at the same time you're main business is suffering.

CLARK: You're correct.

SAVIDGE: There are concerns that oppress milk prices and trade disputes will drag into next year.

Do you think that's going to have an impact on how dairy farmers vote?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes. I think it will have an effect.

SAVIDGE: But the president still has fans here. Do you blame this administration for any kind of financial difficulty

you may face?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No. No I don't. Because things happen and just because it's this president and the situation he is doesn't mean that's all on his shoulders.

SAVIDGE: Despite their suffering, some still see the trade dispute as necessary to even the trade playing field.

[03:20:02] UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm still confident that we're going to come out of this better, not just us in agriculture, but as a country.

SAVIDGE: Janet Clark says, if he is going to vote for Trump again, she need something from him.

CLARK: I need some hope, I need to see some light at the end of the tunnel which I haven't seen in four years.

SAVIDGE: Without that, it will be harder for Wisconsin farmers to hang on, which could make a president's reelection hopes here in a word challenging.


CHURCH: And that was Martin Savidge reporting. Well, now to a courtroom in Boston, where Lori Loughlin and Mossimo Giannulli appeared for a hearing related to the college admissions scandal. The American actress and her fashion designer husband are accused of paying $500,000 in bribes to get their daughters accepted by the University of Southern California. Scott McLean has the latest


SCOTT MCLEAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: tonight actress Lori Loughlin and her husband fashion designer Mossimo Giannulli back in the court. Loughlin's sober demeanor walking into the courthouse is a stark contrast from her last trip to Boston in April, when she signed autographs and posed for pictures. She waved to fans, smiling as she walked into court.

The hearing, addressing conflict of interest concerns, Loughlin and her husband have attorneys from the same firm, potential problem if there was ever a conflict between the two. Also their defense firm represented USC, the victim of the alleged fraud in a separate real estate case. And another firm represents a separate defendant in the college admission scam.

Both told the judge they understand the risks involved with their arrangement, but wanted to move forward with the same legal team. Loughlin and her husband had pleaded not guilty to fraud and money laundering charges.

Each charge carries a potential sentence of up to 20 years in prison. The couple is accused of paying a half a million dollars in bribes to get their daughters Isabela and Olivia Jade in the USC, as crew recruits, despite the government allegation that neither had ever been involved in rowing. Their parents allegedly provided photos to the school of their daughters on a rowing machine.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: These parents are a catalog of wealth and privilege.

MCLEAN: More than 30 parents were charged in the scheme run by Rick Singer, a college admission's prep company CEO and his phony charity. Singer has pleaded guilty and has been cooperating. Fifteen have pleaded guilty in exchange for leniency, including actress Felicity Hoffman, who said in a statement she took full responsibility for her actions writing, my desire to help my daughter is no excuse to break the law or engage in dishonesty. Hoffman will be sentenced next month.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is a case where they flaunted their wealth, sparing no expense to cheat the system so they could set their children up for success with the best educations money can buy, literally.

MCLAUGHLIN: The charges have already inflicted the professional cost on Loughlin, no longer has shows on Netflix or the Hallmark channel, and brands like Sephora and Hewlett Packard had distance themselves from daughter Olivia Jade. A social media influencer who posted this after being accepted in the USC.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I don't how much of school I'm going to attend. I do want the experience of like game days, partying, all I care about school.

MCLAUGHLIN: After the scandal broke, a friend told CNN she was barely speaking to her parents, but she broke her silence on Instagram after five months, wishing her mother a happy birthday.


CHURCH: That report from Scott McLean. Next good night sleep tight. A swarm of bed bug jokes had infested the internet after complain about Donald Trump's Florida resort. We will explain when we return.


CHURCH: A Bed bug complained about one of Donald Trump's resorts has come back to bite the U.S. president. And now the internet is infested with insect jokes. CNN's Jeanne Moss reports.


JEANNE MOOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It will be hard for President Trump to exterminate this story. He went from promoting Trump National Doral as the perfect site for the next G7 Summit.

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Magnificent buildings. We call them bungalows.

MOOS: To defending it against allegations of having had bed bugs in those bungalows. No bed bugs at Doral, the radical left Democrat spread that falls and nasty rumors, not nice. Actually, it was a lawsuit that spread the story, after sleeping in the Jack Nicholas theme villa, guest Eric Linder, awoke to discover that he had multiple welts, lumps and marks over much of his face, neck, arms and torso. There is even a photo. The lawsuit was settled around the time President Trump took office.

But by saying no bed bugs, President Trump sort of shot himself, make it sprayed himself in the foot. The internet was instantly crawling with Trump theme bed bugs. Bed bugs wearing his hair, bed bugs with, I voted for Trump stickers. A bed bug with G7 host on his back. Luxurious rooms with pets, joins us at Doral.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So goodnight, sleep tight.

MOOS: The saying got a makeover, goodnight, sleep tight, don't stay at Doral, because those bed bugs bite. Meanwhile someone else was bitten by a bed bug controversy.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's dehumanizing.

MOOS: New York Times columnist Brett Stevens deleted his Twitter account, saying Twitter is a sewer, after a professor named David Carp (inaudible), that the New York Times building is having bed bug problems and tweeted, the bed bugs are a metaphor. The bed bugs are Bret Stevens. Stevens emailed Professor Carp, copying the professor's boss, inviting Carp to come visit him at his home.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And see if you would call me a bed bug to my face.

MOOS: Between Stevens and Trump, Bed bugs have infested the news. As for Trump National Doral --

TRUMP: With magnificent views --

MOOS: Now bed bugs are getting all the views online. Many people say that Trump bed bugs are the best in the world. There are huge. Jeanne Moos, CNN, New York.


CHURCH: Enough to make you itch. Thanks so much for your company. I'm Rosemary Church. Quest's World of Wonder is up next. But first, I will be back with a check of the headline. Don't go anywhere.