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Hurricane Dorian Batters The Virgin Islands; Queen Approves U.K. P.M.'s Request To Suspend Parliament; Some Brexit Supporters Don't Care If There's No Deal; Former U.S. Defense Secy. Mattis Rejects Isolationism; U.S. Citizenship Won't Be Automatic For Some U.S. Dependents; Brazil Accepts Aid From U.K., But Not G7 Yet; Evidence North Korea Working On Nuclear Submarine; Northern White Rhino Population May Survive With Help. Aired 2-3a ET
Aired August 29, 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 storm that's only getting stronger, Hurricane Dorian picks up speed as it barrels toward Florida.
Outrage growing in the United Kingdom as critics call the prime minister's move to suspend parliament a sign of a dictator.
Plus fighting for the northern white rhino with only two left on the planet. We'll tell you how scientists are making sure the species survives.
Welcome to our viewers joining from all around the world I'm Rosemary Church and this is CNN NEWSROOM.
CHURCH: And we start with Hurricane Dorian. It is churning in the warm waters of the Atlantic as it intensifies and heads towards the Eastern U.S. Dorian is a category 1 storm but it is going to become a powerful category 3 at it nears Florida in the weekend.
When Dorian was in the Caribbean the brunt hit the U.S. and British Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico was spared a direct hit but the meteorologists say the wind could still worsen conditions as the island continues to rebuild from Hurricanes Maria and Irma two years ago.
Joel Figueroa join us now over the phone from San Juan. He is the operations director of the Puerto Rico Emergency Management Bureau.
Thank you so much for talking with us, so now Hurricane Dorian is now heading away from Puerto Rico, which certainly dodged the worst. but there is a lot of rain.
What is the situation on the ground where you are what are the many challenges you face right now?
JOEL FIGUEROA, PUERTO RICO EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT BUREAU: You know the hurricane leave the island and we get some rain in the eastern part of the island and some in the east part of the island.
Where we are right now, it's still raining because (INAUDIBLE). We're still in recovery after the part of Hurricane Maria and people were afraid of the system causing some damages (INAUDIBLE).
And (INAUDIBLE) operations in the part of this hurricane (INAUDIBLE) the storm. But (INAUDIBLE) so we're glad. We're glad because there does not appear to have damaged. Some rain, somewhere, you know, every rain in the (INAUDIBLE) islands we are destroying (ph), we are OK.
CHURCH: Yes, you must be feeling an incredible amount of relief, certainly two years after Maria hit. And this has been very lucky for everyone there on Puerto Rico.
But where are most people sheltering right now?
When might they be able to come out and start cleaning out?
Because presumably it's still pretty messy up there?
FIGUEROA: People took the measures and the numbers, went up to 84 persons died, went to shelter. The number -- because we wasn't afraid to go out. People are going back to their homes, we will see how some people from the tip of the (ph) island and the east part of the island that are still in shelters (ph). But we believe that it will be in position to go back to homes tomorrow --
CHURCH: That is very good news, so are you able to assess the level of damage or it's not possible right now?
FIGUEROA: We called the mayor and some of the different areas in the main island and also in the (INAUDIBLE) islands, they told us they are OK. Tomorrow we are going to fly to (INAUDIBLE) the major (INAUDIBLE), (INAUDIBLE) ground to (INAUDIBLE) over there.
But what we from damage that they are OK. They don't have any -- too much problem with the (INAUDIBLE).
CHURCH: Right. And so what would be the first job tomorrow as people start fixing their homes, fixing any damage?
How soon, do you think it will be before life could be completely back to normal?
FIGUEROA: Well, tomorrow we are going to be, we're going back to business, we are going to open the government, also the (INAUDIBLE) working and also the schools that was in usage for shelters will also be in operations.
So tomorrow we will be able -- we will -- we will be able to --
FIGUEROA: -- do some damage assessment to those islands. And we will see what the extent of the damages and if there's any type of need for us to support them.
CHURCH: This is all very good news for the people of Puerto Rico, now that Hurricane Dorian has moved away and there's cleanup and as you say people will be returning to their homes and hopefully the level of damage is low.
Joel Figueroa, thank you so much for talking with us, we do appreciate it.
FIGUEROA: You're welcome. Take care.
CHURCH: Well, a coup, an affront to democracy, beyond the norm. That is just some of what British prime minister Johnson's critics are saying about his move of suspending Parliament for more than a month.
Hundreds of people took their outrage to the streets in protest outside Parliament and 10 Downing Street. And more than 1 million people have signed a petition demanding the suspension be reversed, the move means critics won't have as much time to try to prevent a no- deal Brexit on October 31st. But Mr. Johnson dismissed that.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BORIS JOHNSON, U.K. PRIME MINISTER: There will be ample time on both sides of that crucial October the 17th summit, ample time in Parliament for MPs to debate the E.U., debate Brexit and all the other issues, ample time.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CHURCH: The prime minister --
CHURCH: -- has supporters as well, including the leader of the party that helped prop up his government, CNN's Richard Quest has more on the impact of Mr. Johnson's gambit.
RICHARD QUEST, CNNMONEY EDITOR AT LARGE: When Boris Johnson decided to ask the queen to suspend Parliament, he effectively launched the equivalent of a nuclear attack on Parliament.
He has reduced the number of days the Parliament will be able to consider anything on Brexit and that includes trying to stop a no-deal Brexit which is the default position as the U.K. careens down the tracks toward leaving the E.U. on October the 31st. That's why parliamentarians on both sides of the house of all political persuasions are being forceful in their criticism.
For example, John Bercow, the Speaker of the House, says this move represents a constitutional outrage, shutting down Parliament would be an offense against the democratic process and the rights of parliamentarians as the people's elected representatives.
The problem is what to do about it?
What parliamentary tactics still remain to try to prevent a no-deal Brexit and thwart the prime minister?
The leader of the opposition Jeremy Corbyn making clear that he will do everything he could.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JEREMY CORBYN, LEADER, U.K. LABOUR PARTY: Yes, I've protested in the strongest possible terms on behalf of my party, and I believe all the other opposition parties are going to join in with this, in simply saying that suspending Parliament is not acceptable, it's not on.
What the prime minister's doing is a sort of smash-and-grab on our democracy, in order to force through a no-deal exit from the European Union.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
QUEST: So Brexit, the political drama that you thought could not get worse suddenly did, the U.K. has got no idea how this will play out and we are in completely uncharted territory as Parliament and MPs once again going in to battle against their own government -- Richard Quest, CNN, Westminster.
CHURCH: A new timetable makes it even more difficult for MPs to prevent a no-deal Brexit, the length of time Parliament will be suspended, is the longest suspension since 1945, which is why some lawmakers say it could be challenged in court.
Opposition parties say they will still attempt the legislation to ban a no-deal Brexit, that will require taking over the Parliamentary agenda -- tricky even before the suspension.
But if it fails they will likely call for a no confidence vote if it passes those against a no-deal Brexit could take over.
CHURCH: Thom Brooks is dean of Durham Law School and professor of law and government at Durham University.
Great to have you with us. So Boris Johnson's suspension of Parliament means, of course, there are now fewer days for lawmakers to consider a response to Brexit, including preventing a no-deal Brexit and that has some up in arms, including members of Johnson's own party.
How shrewd was this move and will it work for Johnson and the Brexiteers?
THOM BROOKS, DURHAM UNIVERSITY: I don't know how shrewd it was. It's only a couple of days ago, his official spokesperson said that they were not even considering this.
And that suggests that either they've come up with this kind of last- minute without much reflection, which I doubt, or that they knew they were doing this but were willfully trying to mislead not just other MPs, but perhaps the country about what their true intentions are.
I suspect what's really driving this is trying to have a brave face on a no deal and show to the European Union that its government really is committed to delivering some kind of no deal. Despite the fact that both Boris Johnson and members of the cabinet are on record, saying what a disaster no deal would be.
So I think it is just a kind of brave face, staring contest, playing chicken with the E.U., rather than any kind of sincere, you really want to do this. I think there's no real appetite for doing a no deal plan.
And I think the opposition across the country, protests erupting well outside London, all over the U.K., I think it will come as a bit of a surprise to him and others, as it did to many.
CHURCH: Interesting, so you feel this might be a ploy to pressure the E.U. to maybe help in some way. We know the opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn says he has protested in the strongest possible terms.
But what parliamentary tactics are available to lawmakers and all sides of politics to respond to this, what are their possible options and --
CHURCH: So a few options there.
Where do you see all of this going?
And October 31st approaches and we get more of a picture of the possible ramifications, what might a no-deal Brexit look like and what impact could it have on the U.K., if, in fact, this is where it ends up?
BROOKS: I think the most likely outcome right now is there might be some type of binding measure, that will prevent the government possibly trying to reverse its (INAUDIBLE) parliament or tie its hands and taking no-deal off the table, that's the only thing that's really commanded a strong majority from in the House of Commons.
And that's something Johnson's own party, many of his members are against no-deal and part of the reason for this strong show against no-deal is this widespread belief, forecast, that no-deal would be hugely damaging to the U.K. economy.
It would effectively cease everything at the border, from goods and services to people traveling across to Europe, potentially on their holidays. It would be a big problem for importing foods and goods.
It would be a real disruption that would continue for sometime and the government could do things about it. But there's virtually no planning's for a no-deal, in fact the government's own -- when they announced what they're going to do about no-deal, to make it a real outcome, a real live threat to the European Union, most of the money they're going to spend was on leaflets and information campaign to business individuals about what no-deal might mean.
They have not tried to set up new regulations that are British to mirror, mask what the E.U. regulations were that we'd be leaving. They have not hired anyone or created any new departments that would mirror what the E.U. institutions do. None of this has been in place. There is no extra infrastructure, there are no extra people to help sort this out, there are no extra border agents to help with anything on the border.
They have done really literally nothing at all. So I think this no- deal bluster is just trying to stare down the face at the European Union, to see who will blink first, without really anything behind it, which is why it ultimately will not succeed.
CHURCH: We'll see what comes from that, because the pressure is coming from all quarters right now, we'll see where it pushes Boris Johnson. We will be watching very closely, many thanks for your analysis, Thom Brooks, appreciate it.
CHURCH: He is the front-runner and she is getting a lot of buzz, coming up two U.S. presidential candidates will finally face each other on the debate stage.
CHURCH: China's latest tariffs on U.S. crops have left some U.S. farmers wishing they had never voted for Donald Trump and we will talk to a family taking hit after hit in Mr. Trump's trade war. That's when we come back. Stay with us.
CHURCH: The U.S. president is looking for accomplishments to run on next year, sources say one focus is the border wall. "The Washington Post" reports that Donald Trump has told aides that he would pardon them if they have to break the law to get it built by 2020. On Twitter Trump called the report fake news and insisted that the
wall is being built despite obstruction by Democrats, in fact new no new sections have been built. One report says 80 kilometers of replacement barriers have been built as of July.
And on the Democratic side, the field got smaller as the next debate approaches and for the first time on the debate stage, the long- standing front-runner will meet the rival who has a plan for everything.
Arlette Saenz has the report.
ARLETTE SAENZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The next Democratic primary debate in Houston is one step closer to be set, it's likely to be a one night event with 10 candidates and for the first time Joe Biden and Elizabeth Warren are preparing to take the same stage.
BIDEN: I will just be me and she will be her, let people make the judgments. I have great respect for her.
SAENZ (voice-over): The tougher polling and donor standards leaving out half of the Democratic primary field out with Tom Steyer missing the cut by one poll. Some candidates off the debate stage remaining undeterred for. Now
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh, yes, I'm absolutely staying in the race.
GOV. STEVE BULLOCK (D-MT), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: It's missing something by not having my voice but it is what it is.
SAENZ (voice-over): Tonight Senator Kirsten Gillibrand dropping her presidential bid.
SEN. KIRSTEN GILLIBRAND (D-NY): After more than eight incredible months I'm ending my presidential campaign. I know this is not the result we wanted. We wanted to win the race but it's important to know when it's not your time.
SAENZ (voice-over): With the next debate two weeks away, a new Quinnipiac national poll shows Biden leading his closest rivals by double digits, similar to his advantage in a CNN survive released last week.
The Quinnipiac poll showing the top five Democratic --
SAENZ (voice-over): -- contenders, each beating President Trump in hypothetical head-to-head matchups.
Today Biden taking his pitch to South Carolina, where black voters make up the majority of the Democratic primary electorate.
JOE BIDEN, FORMER U.S. VICE PRESIDENT AND PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We cannot just campaign to beat Donald Trump.
Black voters are a key component for Biden support with 46 percent say they backed Biden and Biden telling a group of black reporters, "People know me or at least they think they know me after all this time. They have a sense of who my character is and who I am, warts and all."
CHURCH: President Trump's trade war with China has some U.S. farmers caught in the crossfire, some U.S. crops being exported to China are at their lowest limit in 15 years. CNN's Gary Tuchman talks to a family of soybean farmers whose livelihood is at risk.
GARY TUCHMAN, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Rick Telesz runs a 750 acre family farm in western Pennsylvania with his father and uncle. They have dairy cattle and grow crops, but nothing is more financially important than the nearly 300 acres of soybeans.
(on camera) What percentage of your soybeans is exported?
RICK TELESZ, FARMER: 100 percent of my beans.
TUCHMAN: 100 percent?
TUCHMAN (voice-over): And he believes almost all of it has going to China over the years. But with President Trump's tariff war, China is no longer buying U.S. soybeans. Income has plunged 20 percent in this farm over the last year because of that.
TELESZ: When you're operating on margins of less than a single digit percentage margins, 20 percent is very devastating. I don't know of any business out there, any businessman out there would keep his doors open where he would have to take his own equity out of his own --
TUCHMAN (on camera): And that's what you're doing?
TELESZ: Yes, the farm is using the equity it's built up over the years just to survive.
TUCHMAN (voice-over): Rick's father, Frank, has been farming here for 70 years. And his Uncle Tom is a 60-year farming veteran. All three of them voted for Barack Obama twice for president, but three Novembers ago, they were among the many Pennsylvanians who helped decide a presidential election.
(on camera) Frank, who did you vote for president in 2016?
FRANK TELESZ, FARMER: Mr. Trump.
TUCHMAN: Rick? R. TELESZ: Trump.
TOM TELESZ, FARMER: Mr. Trump.
TUCHMAN: If the election were today, Frank, would you vote for Donald Trump?
F. TELESZ: No way.
R. TELESZ: It couldn't happen.
T. TELESZ: No.
TUCHMAN (voice-over): An increasing number of farmers nationwide are frustrated with the President's trade war with China and how his tariff decisions have affected their lives. The Telesz family believes the financial crisis they are dealing with could easily have been avoided.
R. TELESZ: Yes, I'm angry at him, sure. Do I hate him? No, I don't hate the guy. But, yes, I'm upset with what he does, what he did.
TUCHMAN (on camera): The nation's farmers strongly supported Donald Trump for president in 2016. And as of yet, there is no indication of a massive farmer exodus away from Trump.
But there's also no indication this crisis is coming to an end. And with more than 14 months to go until Election Day, there is plenty of time for farmers to get even angrier.
(voice-over) And a lot of time for farmers to worry if China's population of nearly 1.4 billion people will ever be the customer it once was.
R. TELESZ: Well, we'll never get that full market back again, no.
TUCHMAN (on camera): And why do you think that?
R. TELESZ: They've just gotten too many new suppliers that will cater to them.
TUCHMAN: Other countries?
R. TELESZ: Exactly.
TUCHMAN: Difficult times at this farm and many other farms throughout America -- Gary Tuchman, CNN, Lawrence County, Pennsylvania.
CHURCH: Boris Johnson is supremely confident the U.K. will thrive once it leaves the E.U. but his optimism is not contagious and suspending Parliament for more than a month has not helped.
In Italy, where power is often fleeting, meet the new boss, same as the old boss, we will back in a moment.
(COMMERCIAL BREAK) [02:31:11] CHURCH: Welcome back, everyone. I'm Rosemary Church. I want to update you now on the main stories we've been following this hour. Hurricane Dorian battered the U.S. and British Virgin Islands with heavy rain and wind. But Puerto Rico avoided a direct hit from the category 1 storm, but flooding there is still a concern. Dorian is expected to strengthen to a possible category 3 storm as it nears the U.S. state of Florida.
A major drugmaker accused of fueling America's opioid epidemic, says it's in talks to settle thousands of lawsuits. Purdue Pharma which makes the painkiller Oxycontin is reportedly offering between $10 and $12 billion. Its owners may step aside from the company.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson got approval from the queen to suspend Parliament for five weeks. That means his critics will have 17 days to try to prevent a no-deal Brexit on October 31st. But, the Prime Minister insists they will have ample time for debate.
Suspending the British Parliament for more than a month increases the chances the U.K. will leave the European Union on October 31st with or without a deal, do or die in the Prime Minister's words. And do or die sounds just fine to those who voted for Brexit. We have more now from CNN's Hadas Gold.
HADAS GOLD, CNN EUROPE CORRESPONDENT: This is Romford, it's just east of London, but couldn't be more different than London and how this area voted in the 2016 Brexit referendum. This area voted 70 percent in favor of leaving. And when you talk to people here about the decision to suspend parliament, partly with the idea of perhaps getting a no-deal Brexit through, they're OK with it.
What is your opinion on the news today that Boris Johnson has convinced the Queen to suspend Parliament?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: As long as he get his Brexit for (INAUDIBLE)
GOLD: Would you be OK with a no-deal as Boris said do or die on October 31st?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, because I think what we voted for was to either stay in Europe or come out. And it was a simple vote, and we voted to come out. So, I'm not really to (INAUDIBLE) whether we get a deal or not.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We had a referendum. We voted and we've voted to leave, and we just need to carry on with the people's wishes.
GOLD: So, you're OK with the idea that the suspension of Parliament will prevent people from trying to block Brexit?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We'll say -- it's so many twists and turns, isn't it? And so I mean, until the outcome we won't know really, no one will know. GOLD: And what's really notable about talking to people here is
despite what some politicians say that the 2016 referendum did not give them a mandate to leave without a deal, the people here who voted in favor Brexit overwhelmingly say that they're actually OK with a no- deal scenario, whatever it takes to get them out of the European Union. They're sick of the process dragging on for so long. They're sick of listening to politicians that a lot of them think are just remainers. And for many of them, they're OK with whatever pain may actually come to the UK economy as a result of the no deal, because they think that the country will be stronger and better on the other side. Hadas Gold, CNN, Romford, England.
CHURCH: All right. Now, to Italy, where a new government is again rising from the ashes of the old. This time, it's two bitter rivals joining forces to block a political enemy they fear even more. And Giuseppe Conte, there on the left, the former prime minister who resigned last week. Looks like he'll keep his job after all. CNN's Barbie Nadeau has the latest from Rome.
BARBIE NADEAU, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: The current Italian political crisis is nearing an end, at least for the moment. The centre left Democratic Party and the populist Five-Star Party have reached an agreement to try to form a new coalition government. The new government will be led by Giuseppe Conte. Now, he's the prime minister who resigned last week after Matteo Salvini, the leader of the far-right League Party pulled his support from the coalition with the Five-Star Movement.
[02:35:11] Mr. Conte received an endorsement from U.S. President Donald Trump after the two met at the G7 conference in France last weekend. Mr. Conte will go to the Presidential Palace on Thursday morning to meet with Sergio Mattarella, and receive the formal mandate to try to move the country out of its current political crisis. Barbie Latza Nadeau for CNN, Rome.
CHURCH: Without ever mentioning the president by name, the former U.S. Defense Secretary delivered a scorching assessment of Donald Trump's brand of division and isolationism. Barbara Starr reports the essay by James Mattis raise questions about mixing politics and the military.
BARBARA STARR, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: The first news conference by a Secretary of Defense and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs in a year. On the same day, the last Secretary of Defense James Mattis pinned a dire warning in a preview of his upcoming book published in The Wall Street Journal writing, "What concerns me most as a military man is not our external adversaries; it is our internal divisiveness. We are dividing into hostile tribes cheering against each other, fueled by emotion and a mutual disdain that jeopardizes our future."
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Things can change.
STARR: Mattis never directly criticizes President Trump. But cautions leaders must do more than launch verbal attacks. But at a private 2017 meeting with troops recorded only by cell phone, Mattis did more than hint at his views about the state of the nation.
JAMES MATTIS, FORMER U.S. SECRETARY OF DEFENSE: It's got some problems. You know it and I know it. It's got problems that we won't -- we don't have in the military. And you just -- you just hold the line my fine young soldiers, sailors, airmen, marines.
STARR: General Joseph Dunford, Trump's top military advisor and a longtime Mattis colleague flat out refused to even discuss President Trump's leadership.
GEN. JOSEPH DUNFORD, CHAIRMAN, U.S. JOINT CHIEFS OF STAFF: I will not now nor will I, when I take off the uniform, make judgments about the President of the United States or the commander in chief. I just won't do it.
STARR: But politics can't be ignored. Some troops are carrying red Make America Great Again hats. Trump has not shied away from bringing partisan politics into the ranks. During this year's government shutdown, he tore into Democrats before a Pentagon audience.
TRUMP: The party has been hijacked by the open borders fringe within the party. The radical left becoming the radical Democrats.
But Dunford insists the majority of the force obeys the rules about not mixing the military and partisan politics.
It has been a very politically turbulent period of time. And yet, almost 80 percent of the American people still have trust in the United States military as an institution.
STARR: And on another topic, Dunford was asked about the potential upcoming peace agreement with the Taliban that may end America's longest war in Afghanistan. Dunford said for now, Afghan forces are not able to fully look after their own security and U.S. forces will be available to help them. Barbara Starr, CNN, the Pentagon.
CHURCH: The essay by Mattis appeared the same day the current defense secretary and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff briefed the news media for the first time in a year. Taliban and U.S. negotiators are reportedly near a deal that could lead to the withdrawal of U.S. forces from Afghanistan. But the top U.S. general made clear any agreement will contain conditions.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DUNFORD: I'm not using the "withdraw" word right now. I'm using "we're going to make sure our -- that Afghanistan is not a sanctuary" and we're going to try to have an effort to bring peace and stability to Afghanistan.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CHURCH: There are 15,000 U.S. troops alongside NATO troops training and advising Afghan forces.
Well, the Trump administration's fight over immigration is now focused on an unlikely population, children born overseas to members of the U.S. military or U.S. government. A proposed new rule could make it more difficult for those children to become U.S. citizens. CNN's Alex Marquardt has our report.
ALEX MARQUARDT, CNN SENIOR NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: There was a very confusing rollout of this new policy by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services because it also affects the Department of Defense and State Department. And essentially, what this new policy says is that children born overseas to people serving the U.S. government or the U.S. military will not automatically gain citizenship, whereas prior, they might have. This will most specifically affect the children of people who have not been U.S. citizens for a long time, naturalized citizens.
[02:40:11] So, for example, if you are serving in the U.S. government overseas or serving in the U.S. military overseas, and you have been a citizen for under five years and you have a child overseas, your child will not automatically gain citizenship. Now, this is not to say that the children born overseas will be ineligible. It just means that they will need to go through a process. There are many people who become American citizens through an expedited process by serving in the U.S. military. So, for example, their children, if they're born overseas, will not automatically become U.S. citizens.
This is bound to be confusing. This is bound to be controversial. I was speaking with a naval officer who said that he can imagine that there are a number of spouses who are married to naturalized citizen serving overseas who must be flying back to the United States right now that there will be lots of freaking out, as he put it, on Facebook pages for military spouses.
So, this policy is primarily going to affect the children of naturalized citizens. The Department of Defense says it will be a relatively small number, around 100 people per year and it is expected to go into effect on October 29th. Alex Marquardt, CNN Washington.
CHURCH: Firefighters tried to save what they can before the Amazon turns to ash. Next, the latest on their progress in Brazil. And the latest threat from North Korea. What experts think Pyongyang is working on right now.
CHURCH: At least 13 people were killed when airstrikes hit the rebel- held Idlib province in Syria. 34 were injured in Wednesday's attack. That is according to the volunteer rescue group, the White Helmets. They say regime warplanes targeted the neighborhood with 12 missiles at one time, destroying civilian homes. The White Helmets added that a mother and four children were among the casualties.
Well, as firefighters continue to battle blazes scorching the Amazon, South American leaders plan to meet next week to discuss the situation. Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro is still suggesting he won't accept $20 million from G7 nations until French President Emmanuel Macron apologizes for insults made against him. Shasta Darlington reports.
[02:45:06] SHASTA DARLINGTON, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: A glimmer of hope from the Brazilian Amazon with the latest satellite images, showing that fire activity has diminished in recent days, and is it normal or even below normal levels for this time of year.
And Brazil has, at least, started to accept some international aid. But the government announced that it would accept 10 million pounds in aid from Great Britain. President Jair Bolsonaro, however, suggested yet again that Brazil will not accept $20 million in aid from the G7 until French President Emmanuel Macron, either withdraws or apologizes for insults that he's made against Bolsonaro.
In the meantime, the president announced that the country straddling the Amazon region will hold a meeting on September 6th in Colombia to discuss how to combat the fires, and also to discuss sustainable development in the Amazon region.
Here in Brazil, some 2,500 troops have been deployed to the Amazon to help put out fires, and clearly, that's starting to have an impact. What isn't so clear is just what the long-term effects will be in a region that as big roughly as two-thirds of Europe, just how big an impact these fires have had on the diverse plant and animal life.
Shasta Darlington, CNN, Sao Paulo.
CHURCH: And now, we want to show you some truly remarkable video of Italy Stromboli volcano just off Sicily. It's a fairly active volcano, but the volume of Wednesday's eruption, well that was a bit of a surprise. One family was on a boat nearby when they heard a blast.
Take a look at what they saw as they fled.
That is terrifying. Like something out of a disaster movie. Though the video cuts off, the family did get away unharmed. So far, there are no reports of any injuries from the Stromboli eruption. Incredible pictures there.
Well, U.S. defense secretary Mark Esper, says while there is concern about North Korea's recent ballistic missile tests, the U.S. remains focused on diplomacy. But now, there have been some developments in North Korea's weapons program.
As Brian Todd reports, there are indications Pyongyang is working on new ways to launch missiles.
BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: New evidence that North Korea's ambitious young supreme commander may soon have another submarine to command, and a new way to threaten the U.S.
New satellite photos just published by the web site, Beyond Parallel, show what appears to be new activity at the Sinpo South Shipyard in North Korea. Where Kim Jong-un's regime builds many of its submarines.
Two support submarines, a larger sub, and a so-called midget sub are parked there along with another support vessel. There's a crane, a vehicle in one photo and people at the dock.
Analysts believe it all could be to support this. An enormous nuclear-capable submarine being built or renovated which Kim was photographed inspecting last month at a nearby location.
Experts say the shipyard activity could mean the North Koreans are preparing for a crucial test.
DAVID SCHMERLER, SENIOR RESEARCH ASSOCIATE, JAMES MARTIN CENTER FOR NONPROLIFERATION STUDIES: The purpose of this vessel may be to take the test barge out into open waters and test a submarine-launched ballistic missile.
TODD: CNN talked to a top Pentagon official about the new pictures.
RANDALL SCHRIVER, ASSISTANT SECRETARY OF DEFENSE FOR ASIAN AND PACIFIC SECURITY AFFAIRS: We see very intentional modernization on the part of the DPRK.
TODD: What concerns you about the development of that submarine?
SCHRIVER: Well, you know, if you -- if you extrapolate far enough, they're looking to -- for a capability that makes them a more potent adversary.
TODD: Another senior U.S. official has told CNN, the U.S. has been tracking the development of this sub for a year and a half. Kim successfully test-fired a ballistic missile from a smaller submarine in 2016. A vessel which experts say could hold one nuclear-tipped missile.
This larger one they say could hold three or more. These subs give Kim the ability to launch nuclear missiles that would be harder to detect in advance. And analysts fear, he is trying to develop a longer range submarine.
RICHARD FISHER, SENIOR FELLOW, ASIAN MILITARY AFFAIRS INTERNATIONAL ASSESSMENT AND STRATEGY CENTER: They could potentially within the next decade, develop submarines capable of transiting the Pacific Ocean within a range sufficient to launch missile strikes against the United States. TODD: The new development comes as President Trump's new defense secretary spoke about Kim's other missile threat.
MARK ESPER, UNITED STATES SECRETARY OF DEFENSE: Obviously, we are concerned about their short-range ballistic missile tests. We want to understand what they're doing, why they're doing, et cetera. But on the other hand, we're not going to overreact.
TODD: But experts say, Kim's full steam ahead program to perfect his submarines shows he's trying to build a nuclear force that can survive enemy attacks. While, at the same time, diminishing the promise of President Trump's overtures toward the dictator.
SCHMERLER: This type of activity only reinforces the fact that North Korea seems, at least, at the moment not committed to denuclearizing to the extent of the president had mentioned.
[02:50:08] TODD: How can the U.S. and its allies counter the submarine missile threat from Kim Jong-un? Military analysts say the allies are going to have to put more spy planes in the air. More ships and underwater sensors in the Pacific Ocean to try to detect and intercept those North Korean subs.
It's going to be difficult and costly they say, and it may provoke China and Russia to become more aggressive in the Pacific. But the allies they say really may have no other choice. Brian Todd, CNN, Washington.
CHURCH: The northern white rhino on the verge of extinction. Only two animals remain. Now, scientists are taking extraordinary measures to save the species.
And U.S. presidential candidate Bernie Sanders has caught the fighting spirit. We will look at his most recent opponent in the ring. That's after the break.
CHURCH: The northern white rhino may have a chance of survival with assistance from scientists and veterinarians from all around the world. Just two of the animals exist. The species was hunted to the brink of extinction. And to make things even more difficult, the two remaining rhinos are both female. A last-ditch effort at reproduction has conservationist holding their breath.
Farai Sevenzo, reports on the effort from Nairobi.
FARAI SEVENZO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: In the race to save the northern white rhino species, the stakes are high. As veterinary scientists tried a new procedure for the first time. The hopeful silence was deafening. Their mission, to extract eggs from the last two northern white rhinos to save the species from extinction. The team successfully gathered five eggs each from the two female rhinos in Kenya, Najin and Fatu.
This remarkable achievement born of science and hope shines a light for the white rhinos prospects after Sudan, last male northern white rhino died early last year.
His sperm, along with the sperm of another who died in 2014 since frozen in incubators for fishery production. Najin and Fatu can't carry a pregnancy by themselves. And collecting their eggs was only one step in the process.
Scientists managed to artificially inseminate seven of their eggs with the frozen sperm. Now, the next task will be an embryo transfer to a southern white rhino which will be the surrogate to carry it to full term.
JAN STEJSKAL, DIRECTOR OF INTERNATIONAL PROJECTS, DVUR KRALOVE ZOO: What we have to do next? It means that we have to some older level of technique for embryo transfer. And only stars we, again, cooperate with the zoos here and Europe.
SEVENZO: The world might soon see another northern white rhino, but the fight to save the species from extinction is far from over.
Farai Sevenzo, CNN, Nairobi.
CHURCH: Fascinating effort there. Well, U.S. presidential hopeful, Bernie Sanders, he is taking a swing at more than just the White House. He recently took up some light boxing on the campaign trail.
Jeanne Moos has the blow-by-blow account of what happened.
[02:54:42] JEANNE MOOS, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: In this corner, 77-year-old, Bernie "The Cerebral" Sanders couldn't resist jabbing the speed bag he passed by the other day.
He took on the bag but the bag clobbered him. Or has one armchair analysts put it, "Speedbag TKOs Bernie Sanders seconds after fight began. Quickest technical knockout in boxing history."
Note to candidates, if you're clueless about hitting a bag, don't do it unless you want to become a punching bag. "What a doofus." "LOL, if he keeps that up maybe he'll knock some sense into his self."
Someone else took a swing its socialism, tweeting, "When capitalism claps back." Even the president's son, Don Junior, weighed in. "This wouldn't exactly strike fear in the minds of our adversaries."
But Bernie supporters thought it was cute. Float like a butterfly, sting like a Bernie. We've seen the candidate shadow box before. Reacting to his doctor saying what great health the senator's in?
SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (I-VT), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Do I get involved in senior boxing?
MOOS: In addition to shadow boxing, we've seen Donald Trump perform a fake takedown.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Look at this.
MOOS: At a WWE event billed as the Battle of the Billionaires.
Hey, but at least Bernie's punching a bag and not threatening to punch his opponent.
JOE BIDEN (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: You know, I wish we were in high school, I could take him behind the gym.
TRUMP: He said I'd like to take him behind the gym. Oh, I dream of that.
MOOS: But our favorite political boxing moment was when retiring Senator Orrin Hatch tried to spar with a piece of bacon. A slice of bacon is great, but don't get any ideas from this guy. Don't even think of pummeling meat, Bernie, even if it would tenderize it.
Jeanne Moos, CNN, New York.
CHURCH: We have some tough guys out there, right? Thanks for your company. 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. Stick around.
CHURCH: Boris backlash. The British prime minister suspends Parliament and critics call the decision a constitutional outrage.
Plus, Hurricane Dorian, skims by Puerto Rico but is now growing and taking aim at Florida.
And later --
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UNIDENTIFIED MALE: With us, being an interracial couple, it's important that we give him a sense that it's OK to be who he is in this community.
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CHURCH: Democratic U.S. presidential candidate Kamala Harris, find support from voters, including some still too young to cast a ballot this election.