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Hurricane Dorian Battering Carolinas with Wind & Rain; U.K. PM: Rather Be Dead in Ditch Than Ask E.U. for Delay; Trump Defends Use of Outdated Storm Projections; Parts of Bahamas Totally Cut Off by Dorian; U.S. Top Diplomat Won't Sign Deal with Taliban; Violence in Afghanistan Taints U.S.-Taliban Peace Talks. Aired 12-1a ET

Aired September 6, 2019 - 00:00   ET

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


(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

NATALIE ALLEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hello, and welcome to our viewers, joining us here in the United States and all around the world. I'm Natalie Allen.

[00:00:28]

ALLEN: We are following breaking news at this hour as Hurricane Dorian makes its way along the southeastern coast of the United States. Right now, the core of the storm is battering North Carolina with high winds and heavy rain.

Dorian is a dangerous Category 2 storm. That's winds of 100 miles or 155 kilometers per hour. Since hitting the Carolinas, the storm has caused flooding, spawned the number of tornadoes and left hundreds of thousands in the dark.

And of course, in the Bahamas, each NEW DAY brings a clear view of just how bad the destruction there is. Hundreds of people are still missing.

And while the official death toll has risen to 30, the country's health minister warns the final number will be, in his words, huge. We have the story covered for you. Our Paula Newton and Patrick Ramen are both in the Bahamas for us. And meteorologist Derek Van Dam is standing by in Charleston, South Carolina.

First, though, let's get more on what's going on with the storm right now and who is in the crosshairs? Our meteorologist, Karen Maginnis, joins us from the CNN winter center with that.

Karen, hello.

KAREN MAGINNIS, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Hi, Natalie.

Yes, we just received an update from the Hurricane Center as we continue to track Hurricane Dorian, which has traveled an excess of 3,000 miles all the way from Barbados across the Atlantic, through the Caribbean and all the way through the Bahamas. As you've seen that devastation and now has been threatening the coast of the southeast for the better part of several days.

It is battering mostly the coastline of North Carolina a little bit here right around Myrtle Beach in Surf Side, beautiful area, but this is that environmentally very fragile region. So as the winds here, between 120 miles per hour, continue to be battered throughout the night.

We're looking at the potential for some storm surge. Could be between five- and seven-feet rainfalls. Six to 12 inches, maybe some locally heavier amounts than that. It's currently a hurricane warning out that extends from the vicinity of Charleston along the Santee River up towards the border between North Carolina and Virginia.

What do we expect? Will it make landfall? Everyone has been asking that question ever since it took aim at Florida, and what has Dorian done? Dorian has done nothing but just hugged the coast, following right along with that Jet Stream.

Now, it looks like it's going to be picking up some speed and then pulling away from the coast. But you can better believe there's going to be a recurrent here. You may see some bands of heavy rainfall. We're going to see it gradually weaken. It is currently a Category 2. We anticipate that by morning, it's going to be a Category 1 hurricane. But still, the impacts are going to be felt across this region. Cape Hatteras and Morehead City, Wilmington, Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. Hurricane warnings in effect until we see Hurricane Dorian go down on its last legs, perhaps by the morning hours, a much weaker system -- Natalie.

ALLEN: Many people will be having a sigh of relief when that happens. All right, Karen, thank you so much will bring us the latest there.

Well, some of the worst destruction we have seen so far has been in the Abaco Islands of the Bahamas. Paula Newton and her crew made it to Man-o-War Key in Abaco and saw the devastating power of nature, along with the amazing resilience of human nature. Here's her exclusive report.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

PAULA NEWTON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The people on the Abaco Islands that we spoke to are still trying to process everything they've gone through and now trying to figure out what happens next. When they look at their own city, their own towns or their own streets, they cannot believe what they survived. Take a listen.

(voice-over): It is so much worse than they had feared. The Abaco Islands forever scarred now by mass destruction. Home after home and entire rooftops blown away. Debris scattered in unrecognizable heaps. Boats tossed like confetti. The images bely the obvious question, how could anyone survive this?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK, OK, OK, OK. You're OK. It's going to be OK. We're going to be OK.

[00:05:07] NEWTON: We arrived by helicopter in Man-o-War in Abaco with Billy Aubrey (ph), embracing his wife Shauna after days of not knowing if she was dead or alive.

Shauna hunkered down with friends in their Seaside home until the roof blew off and they all scramble to find anything still standing.

(on camera): So Nancy, this is what kept you guys alive.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This little room kept us alive. We came in and hunkered down, and Shawn was on the ground crying, and we were just trying to --

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I was hysterical.

NEWTON: What did it sound like in here at the time?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It was loud.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: There was a lot of crashing and banging and whirling.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Stuff, we thought, was coming through the wall.

NEWTON (voice-over): So many in the Abaco Islands lived through hours that resembled a horror movie, exposed to winds that topped 250 miles an hour like tornadoes touching down every minute.

SHERRIE ROBERTS, SURVIVOR: Words can't describe it. I don't wish it on nobody. Nobody, words can't describe it. They could never categorize -- categorize this, never.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: My grandfather ran out in the middle.

ROBERTS: It was like an atomic bomb went off.

NEWTON: Residents here tell me their little paradise is unrecognizable, even to them. They're resourceful and self-reliant, they say, but they could have never imagined a storm as powerful as Dorian.

(on camera): You know, there's no better way to describe to you the force of Hurricane Dorian then to be right here where people rode out the storm in their living rooms and their dining rooms.

Look in this. The roof blew off the house here. The entire kitchen came down. Their refrigerator ended up here on the ground. Their living room and dining room furniture is strewn all over. People describe these things being tossed around the island like projectiles. They all cowered, hovered in their bathrooms and closets, anything they could find to take shelter.

There are now the beginnings of recovery but only the basics: medical interactions, private helicopters to take out those who are sick, the elderly, young families. JEREMY SWEETING, ISLAND COUNCILOR: I'm sure it will never be the same

again. But I mean, the people are strong here, and we're going to try to do our best to rebuild the best way we can. But we know it will never be the same.

NEWTON: This was a storm of biblical proportions, Abaconians tell me. And yes, they were. It will take a miracle to recover from it all.

(on camera): Now, these people are terrified about what comes next, still traumatized by this storm. It is the death toll, of course, that worries them. They know what will rise anecdotally. They've heard from many people that have loved ones missing. And that's a problem, and yet, they're also wondering whether or not it will be possible to rebuild, given the magnitude of the destruction.

Paula Newton, CNN, Nassau.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ALLEN: Of course, so many islands in the Bahamas were hit by this storm for more about it. I want to bring in Sam Teicher. He's the founder and chief reef officer at Coral Beach. His organization works to restore dying and damaged reefs but is now also involved in hurricane relief efforts. He joins me live from Freeport in the Bahamas.

Sam, thanks so much for joining us. We sure -- are sure that you have been through a lot. What can you tell us about what you experience and what is the situation there in Freeport for many of the people around you?

SAM TEICHER, FOUNDER, CORAL BEACH: Well, I and my friends who I stayed with fortunately were very safe during the storm. That can not be said for most other folk. There was catastrophic flooding, wind damage, storm surge that ripped across Freeport and all across the island.

We've been able to start getting out to help with relief efforts. The Coast Guard was here, rescuing people with urgent medical needs via helicopter. But we were out today.

Yesterday, we tried to get east, but all of the roads were too flooded. We couldn't get out there in our pickup. Today, we teamed up with a group called Bahamas Ventures that kind of, like, the off- road safari vehicle and, together with our friends Luke and Joe, we were able to get all the way to Pelican Point. It's still out to the eastern end of the island. But there are absolute devastation. People are in desperate need of water.

Lots of missing people still with dead bodies but people still with resilient spirits. The community definitely coming together. People here, and we are going out and getting, you know, jugs of water, even if they only had one or two days of supplies left themselves. Because people here in the Bahamas really do come together in an emergency.

ALLEN: You know, I've already talked with someone there in Freeport that said the exact same thing she says. It's people helping people. You know, we see the video. We see the aerial videos, and it -- it looks like devastation. But I can't imagine what it's like seeing what this storm was able to do there in person.

[00:10:08]

TEICHER: Yes, it's tragic. It's terrifying that we're living in a time where storms can arrive. This is a climate emergency. These are unnatural storms happening more frequently, and it's threatening people's lives, let alone the planet.

But again, I'm an American living here. This has been my home for a day and a half. But for many people, this has been their home for their whole lives, their grandparents.

So it hurts to see people hurting, but we're definitely seeing a lot of progress being made in terms of how rescue efforts have been made, people communicating with one another, sending out GPS points where people need to be rescued, how things can be delivered, people saying that they're going to be rebuilding but also, still shell-shocked in many ways. No one has seen anything like this before.

ALLEN: Yes. Yes, just looking at it, you can -- you can certainly comprehend that. And people are helping people, as you say. There have been Coast Guard rescues, but you feel like there's a presence yet from the government to -- to get on the island and to get people food and water and other things that they need?

TEICHER: It's a matter of perspective. For example, Deputy Prime Minister Peter Turnquest we actually ran into him today out at the High Rock (ph) Settlement, which maybe 5 percent of those homes are still habitable. He's from Grand Bahama. He's definitely doing everything he can. He cares a lot about this community.

He was at the -- the marts (ph) at our Coral Farm. This was obviously much worse circumstances to see him by chance. The same settlement we were at, one of our coral (UNINTELLIGIBLE) from the farm. It was about 35 miles away, and it was quite remarkable.

But yes, there are definitely people that -- the guy we went out with today that was a volunteer police officer. They are definitely taught were part of it. I don't know if the situation is in Nassau. I know that right now, though, all aid must be let into the country immediately with no strings attached, no delays, nothing because time is of the essence. Any delays on that front matter.

We've got friends with the Grand Bahama Port Authority, which was responsible for a good portion of this island, who are helping coordinate a lot of efforts, along with the Bahama Air-Sea Rescue Association. Lots of volunteers together with different people throughout the government, as I understand it. But obviously, I'm not in the center of things in terms of knowing who was making decisions where.

ALLEN: We certainly hope help arrives in abundance, sooner than later, because people are truly, truly hurting. And we know your organization is helping with that. We thank you so much, Sam Teicher.

TEICHER: Yes, and just to say thank you to all the people from around the world, whether you're just a person on the street. I heard Ludacris was giving money to corporations, like Carnival, and NGOs like Jose (UNINTELLIGIBLE) and others coming together. Please continue sending aid and help. Going to be a long rebuilding process. But as we said before, the Bahamian people are ready to get their lives back together, and it's a special place to be. There's a lot of people working hard.

ALLEN: There are wonderful, wonderful people there in the Bahamas. All right. We appreciate it. Thank you, Sam. All the best.

TEICHER: Thank you.

ALLEN: In the United States, North Carolina is feeling the effects of Dorian right now. We have a live video from the city of Wilmington.

But even before the sun went down, it had already seen a good deal of nasty weather from the storm. It's been hit with a number of tornadoes. More than one dozen reported so far. One passed by a fire station near Wilmington. Another near there tore siding and roofs off several homes.

Dorian spawned this waterspout off Emerald Isle and outlined Barrier Island north of Wilmington, North Carolina. That is not a very comforting site. And on land, a tornado whipped through a mobile home park, whipping some to shreds and scattering debris. This man describes what it was like.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BYRON COX, TORNADO WITNESS: It shook probably ten to 15 seconds real hard. It felt like it was going to flip over. And all of a sudden, I didn't feel it no more. I looked outside, and the tornado has literally -- is like going through the back, and it's bouncing away across there. Debris flying everywhere. I've never seen anything like this in my entire life.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ALLEN: We've heard that over and over again. Charleston, South Carolina, was expected to take a heavy hit from Dorian. Meteorologist Derek Van Dam has been there for more than a day and joins us now with how the city fared.

Hello to you, Derek.

DEREK VAN DAM, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Yes, hello, Natalie.

So you've expressed your love for the city of Charleston, and I think you and the residents here can breathe a collective sigh of relief tonight, because it was spared the direct hit from Hurricane Dorian.

[00:15:07] We drove around. We saw swamped roads, electrical lines down, but that's really the extent of the damage. But aside from some nuisance damage that we've seen just moving across here.

I'm in the historic district downtown. You can see some of the street lamps that have been taken down by the strong winds, which by the way, were the biggest concerns aside from the flooding. That actually ended up being the biggest problem.

But I managed to talk to the mayor of Charleston earlier today. He was actually on NEW DAY with John Berman and came to the hotel that we were at earlier. And he said his city is well-equipped and well- prepared for storms like Hurricane Dorian.

You can see just the efforts that some of the businesses here in this district decided to do, put up sandbags and boarded up the windows. At the height of the storm, 110 streetlights. There were 50 streetlights that were completely out and over 160 trees that were taken down from the strong winds.

But of course, we know this particular town it's so susceptible to street flooding. Fortunately, the majority of the flooding has receded across the city of Charleston and were left with, again, this nuisance damage that you see behind me, which is quintessential Charleston here. The spice and tea exchange, dealing with a bit of awning damage but that's about it. It will take a couple of days to clean up. Power was restored here just in this particular area, so good news for residents. Evacuation orders lifting tomorrow, too, by the way -- Natalie.

ALLEN: All right. People in Charleston will be glad to hear that. Dark Van Dam. Derek, thanks very much.

Boris Johnson says he would rather be dead in a ditch then delay Brexit even one more day. But if the British prime minister fails to sort things out soon, he could end up at the European Union, cap in hand. That's coming next.

Also --

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Alabama could even be in for at least some very strong winds.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ALLEN: Well, that's not exactly true and ahead here, why the U.S. president is holding onto old maps with some apparently curious changes about Hurricane Dorian.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Can you make a promise today to the British public that you will not go back to Brussels and ask for another delay to Brexit?

BORIS JOHNSON, BRITISH PRIME MINISTER: Yes, I can.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And would you rather --

JOHNSON: I'd rather be dead in a ditch.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ALLEN: Boris Johnson, he'd rather be dead in a ditch. Despite the prime minister's colorful language, he may have no choice. The high court could rule Friday on whether the prime minister's decision to suspend Parliament is legal. That suspension is set for next week, and if it stands, it could have them as early as Tuesday.

Meantime, legislation outlawing a hard Brexit, an exit from the European Union without a deal and is expected to clear the House of Lords. And it could all be wrapped up and signed into law in a few days.

But we still cannot rule out a general election. The House of Commons will again debate and vote on the prime minister's call for an early election. That happens Monday.

And to top it off, Mr. Johnson's hardline Brexit strategy cost him his majority in a divided Parliament, now it has divided his family. This is his brother right here, Joe Johnson, who was an M.P. but has quit the government. The prime minister shrugged it off.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JOHNSON: Look, people -- people disagree about the E.U. But the way to unite the country, I'm afraid, is to get this thing done. That is the reality. The longer this goes on, the more dither and delay we have from -- from Parliament, inspired, I'm afraid, by Jeremy Corbyn, the worst this thing will be.

What people want to see is a resolution, and they want to see us getting this getting done. And that's what we're going to do.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ALLEN: Well, CNN European affairs commentator Dominic Thomas always with strong opinions on what's going on, and he'll join us next hour with his analysis.

With the latest now on Hurricane Dorian, it is a Category 2 storm with winds of 100 miles or 155 kilometers per hour. Right now, it is battering the Carolinas with those high winds and heavy rainfalls.

Meantime, the U.S. president is unwilling to give up the ghost of past storm predictions. As the actual Hurricane Dorian ravages the Carolina coastlines, Mr. Trump is giving warnings based on very old information, regarding the state of Alabama. Kaitlan Collins has our story.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

COLLINS (voice-over): President Trump is now on day five of insisting Alabama was in the path of Hurricane Dorian.

TRUMP: That was the original chart.

COLLINS: After being ridiculed for displaying a forecast map altered by a black marker to prove his point, Trump tweeted that Alabama was going to be hit or grazed, and then Hurricane Dorian took a different path. He now says he was referencing early predictions when he claimed Alabama could be impacted.

TRUMP: I know that Alabama was in the original forecast.

COLLINS: But he first made that assertion Sunday, long after the state was ruled out as a potential target. While the Gulf Coast was shown as a possible threat for Dorian's track in the early projections. By Friday, the guidance has=d shifted to Florida's East Coast, two days before Trump said this.

TRUMP: This just came up, unfortunately.

COLLINS: The president canceled a trip to Poland to monitor the storm. And the White House said he was being updated every hour meaning he would've known that information. Instead of a admitting the error and moving on, Trump is insisting he's right, even tweeting out projections last night from over a week ago with dated information.

The spaghetti models the president is using as a defenses are updated four times a day. Meaning by the time Trump made this claim Sunday.

[00:25:03]

TRUMP: Alabama could even be in for, at least, some very strong winds and something more than that. It could be.

COLLINS: They had been updated at least 15 times. It's against the law to knowingly issue or publish a false weather forecast, though right now, both FEMA and NOAA are referring all questions back to the White House, where aides are refusing to say who it was that altered the map and won't rule out that it was the president.

TRUMP: I don't know. I don't know.

COLLINS (on camera): Now, regardless of who made that alteration to that map. The president has made clear that he has no intention of backing off or admitting that he was wrong about Alabama. Continuing to tweet old maps that show there was a chance the storm could hit the state, even as Hurricane Dorian was hitting the Carolinas on Thursday.

Kaitlan Collins, CNN, the White House.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ALLEN: Well, let's talk about this aspect of this hurricane with Michael Genovese, the president of the Global Policy Institute at Loyola Marymount and author of "How Trump Governs."

Michael, thanks for coming in to discuss this.

First up, the president is fixated on this aspect of the Alabama story. We may not know how that Sharpie ended up encircling the state, but he's not letting it go. What do you make of that?

MICHAEL GENOVESE, PRESIDENT, GLOBAL POLICY INSTITUTE AT LOYOLA MARYMOUNT: Well, you know, the president took a one-cycle new story and made it into now day five of Sharpie-gate. And he did it because he is, as you suggested, Ms. Kaitlan's story tells us, is obsessed, obsessed with his image.

He's not obsessed with managing the crisis in the Eastern Seaboard. He's not worried about leading the country. He's worried about protecting his mistake. And trying to make the mistake into something that is plausible and believable and it's not.

I mean, how many times can we -- can we go over the same material of a one-day story becomes a five-day story, because the president can't admit to making a simple mistake. As if the whole facade of his manliness will crumble if he admits that he's human and made a mistake.

And so it's become Orwellian that, you know, we're trying to parse words in ways that are just unimaginable. When the president should be making his time managing the crisis. He's spending his time worrying about his reputation on a -- on a comment that was just an offside comment that wasn't central that he's made central.

ALLEN: Right. To -- Also, with what you just said, former FBI chief James Comey tweeted this. Americans are in harm's way, and the president is laser-focused on covering up a small mistake he made. Narcissism is not leadership. America deserves better.

So it seems, Michael, that what's going on here is another example of President Trump caught in a falsehood or mistake and then turning it back on the media. Now he's claiming that we're the ones spreading the false news.

GENOVESE: Well, the emperor has no clothes, but he's going to throw blame everywhere else on the fake news, as he calls it. It's really the president.

And does it matter? It seems like a trivial story in some respects and, yes, late-night comedians are making tons of jokes about it, quite funny often. But it's not a joke. It can be deadly serious.

This is something that, if there is a genuine crisis and the president needs to be believe, he needs to be believable. And he needs to lead. But when you get in situations like this where the president just fabricates or changes the truth, how can you trust him?

And when a different crisis occurs, when we need to rely on the president, a Chicken Little who keeps saying the sky is falling is not going to be believable. And so the president's word is golden, and when the president breaks

his bond of trust with the public, as this president has done repeatedly, it's very difficult to get that back, and you might really need it when there's a crisis that really is threatening a wide swath of our country.

ALLEN: Yes, you make a very good point. You know, often, his foibles end up as late -- late fodder on the talk shows. But sometimes it can be very, very serious if the president is not on track with the facts.

Well, here is presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg, who was on CNN earlier, talking about this issue -- issue. Let's listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MAYOR PETE BUTTIGIEG (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I'm really worried about this. I feel sorry for the president, and that is not the way we should feel about the most powerful figure in this country, somebody on whose wisdom and judgment our lives literally depend.

I don't know if he felt it necessary to pull out a Sharpie and change the map. I don't know if it was one of his aides believed they had to do that in order to protect his ego.

No matter how you cut it, this is an unbelievably sad state of affairs for our country. If our presidency is not in good shape, then our country is not in good shape.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

[00:30:03]

ALLEN: He reiterates what you've been saying but saying, you know, this is a bigger picture that can have long-lasting negative effects with things like this.

GENOVESE: And I'm no psychiatrist, so I can't make a diagnosis of what the problem is. Nor would I try to. But clearly, there's something wrong.

This is not something new. This is not something unusual. This happens time after time after time. The president claims that his inaugural -- his inauguration drew the biggest crowds ever, bigger than Obama's. Of course they didn't.

He claims that he won the popular vote in the presidential election. Of course he didn't.

Why does he need to keep puffing himself up, boosting himself up with lies? There's something seriously wrong. And the president is the most important political leader, not just in the U.S. but in the world. And when the emperor has no clothes, everyone is going to suffer.

ALLEN: We'll see how much longer he continues to treat about this. Wpatrick Patricdke really appreciate your input, Michael Genovese. Michael, thank you.

GENOVESE: Thank you, Natalie.

ALLEN: Apocalyptic scenes as we get the scope of Dorian's destruction in the Bahamas. We take you to Grand Bahama Island, an area that has been unreachable until now. Our exclusive report is ahead.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[00:35:46]

ALLEN: Well, some areas in the Bahamas have been cut off since Hurricane Dorian tore through the island days ago. High Rock on Grand Bahama Island, for instance. No one could get there to see the level of destruction until now. CNN's Patrick Oppmann shows us what's left in this exclusive report.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

PATRICK OPPMANN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: We're only about an hour from Freeport, but it took us much longer to get here driving around debris like this. You can see in every direction from miles, all the power lines are down.

Hurricane Dorian came here and ripped the roof clean off. But not only that, you think of the power story that a storm needs to knock down entire cement walls.

We don't know if anybody was here, but it's hard to imagine they could have survived, because residents say the storm surge -- and you can see the line just up there -- got this high, almost all the way to the roof, 17 feet, they said. They measured it. You can see the water stains all the way down on the ground, devastation everywhere you look.

And the town goes all the way back to the water. There are some 300 homes here. Every home is either damaged or destroyed. You can see where the wind smashed into the sign but somehow didn't tear it off is.

These are slabs of concrete, and they've been thrown around like they were nothing, like they weighed nothing.

This is the High Rock Prison. There's only one jail cell, and it's not guarding anybody now. We don't know if anybody was here when the storm came behind bars. They surely didn't stick around. There's nothing left in this town, and the people say they have yet to receive any help from the government. Like so many Bahamians, they are waiting for that assistance to come.

Patrick Oppmann, CNN, the town of High Rock on Grand Bahama Island.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ALLEN: Such an incredible amount of devastation it is hard to comprehend. And if you would like to help the victims of the storm, head to our special Impact Your World website. There you'll find a list of aid organizations working to help those devastated. The address: CNN.com/impact.

The center of Hurricane Dorian is brushing the North Carolina coast. At this moment, the storm has already produced several tornadoes in the area, like this waterspout in Emerald Isle, North Carolina. They are common in thunderstorm bands of hurricanes and come with little, if any, warning. They still, though, are frightening to look at.

Our meteorologist, Karen Maginnis, can tell us more about that. We seem to have seen more as this storm went up the coast today, Karen.

MAGINNIS: Yes. It's still a Category 2, still has 100-mile-per-hour winds that are still battering the coast of North Carolina. So this just proves that you don't have to have landfall. You don't have to have crossing the coast for things to be dangerous. And impending in the form of very heavy rainfall with flooding. We saw that in Charleston, where they set a record rainfall amount in downtown Charleston, also in Mount Pleasant. Also, the wind speeds were up around hurricane-force there.

But as it has really taunted the coast of the Carolinas, most importantly, now North Carolina, we are seeing the threat of tornadoes, primarily from these outer bands. You seem them spin up.

They typically don't last that long, but they're there, nonetheless. And that produces damage, like in Emerald Isle. We saw during the morning hours widespread damage associated with those tornadoes.

All right. Here's the eye down here. What do we think is going to happen? It is just going to taunt the coast, as it has been four days now. Moving off towards the northeast at just about 13 miles per hour.

[00:40:03]

So it's picking up some speed. The eye is looking a little ragged. It's not clearly-defined eye like we saw that moved over the Bahamas. It was so fierce-looking and so imposing. But now, as it begins to move along the North Carolina coast, we start out right now. Here's some of the wind gusts. Upwards of close to 50 miles an hour.

All right. We take you into the morning hours and Cape Hatteras very vulnerable, this coastline. It's the national seashore here. You can go to Kitty Hawk. You can go and see this gorgeous shoreline.

Morehead City is expected to see wind gusts of maybe 108 miles per hour. Then, as we go through the later part of the morning, Cape Hatteras still triple-digit-mile-per-hour winds expected there.

And then -- and then, I think, within the next 15, 18 hours we are going to see Dorian move far enough away that we can almost breathe a little bit of a sigh of relief.

All right. There are about two million people, Natalie, that are currently under hurricane warnings; 10 million total between the tropical storm warnings and hurricane warnings, mostly in the Carolinas.

Back to you.

ALLEN: All right. So we've still got a little ways to go before that sigh of relief. Karen, thanks very much.

Well, here's an astonishing sight in the wake of Hurricane Dorian. We've not edited those clouds right there. The skies over Florida turned vibrant purple after the storm passed by.

These pictures on social media captured the phenomenon, which sometimes happens after a hurricane.

Scientists say the storm's low-level clouds scattered light from the sun in a particular way, giving the sunset this purple look.

One resident said it was a reminder that people must have hope. We'll take that. I like that.

Next here, the United States says it has a tentative peace deal with the Taliban in Afghanistan. But America's top diplomat isn't sold on the details. We'll tell you why when we come back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[00:46:02]

ALLEN: The U.S. special representative for Afghanistan is back in Doha for more peace talks with the Taliban. This comes just days after he said the two sides have reached an agreement in principle. But we are now hearing that U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is refusing to sign it.

CNN global affairs analyst Kimberly Dozier broke this story for "TIME" magazine and talked with us about it.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

KIMBERLY DOZIER, CNN GLOBAL AFFAIRS ANALYST (via phone): What I understood happened was that the Taliban wanted Secretary of State Pompeo to sign it. And he blocked.

He wanted to lend the signature from his office to a final deal that might come out of Oslo, a final deal between the Afghan government and the Taliban, but not directly with the Taliban.

Now, several hours after our story was published, Pompeo's spokesperson did reach out and, in reaction to the reaction of the story, offered us a statement on record, saying that, if the president and all the necessary parties agreed that he was the appropriate person to sign the Doha Taliban deal, he'd sign it.

But it took us a lot of -- well, just attention to this issue out there and a big reaction in Kabul before he was willing to say that.

(END VIDEO CLIP) ALLEN: The peace talks are taking place against a backdrop of

violence in Afghanistan. The latest incident, a car bomb attack in Kabul that killed a U.S. service member.

CNN's Michael Holmes has that.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

MICHAEL HOLMES, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Debris and blown-out cars strewn across the road after another attack in the Afghan capital.

Dozens are inured or dead. Among those killed, two NATO service members, one Romanian, one American. The Taliban says it was targeting a convoy of foreigners in the suicide car bomb that detonated near NATO's headquarters there and near the American embassy. It's another clear message to outsiders from the militant group as they try to broker a deal with the U.S.

In eastern Kabul, the charred remains of a separate attack just days before are still being cleared. That car bomb so powerful that it left this crater.

The Taliban's apparent target, the Green Village, a heavily-fortified complex housing foreigners living or working in Afghanistan. But the victims of Monday's attack were civilians, all too familiar with attacks ravaging this area.

MOHAMMAD ZAKER, KABUL RESIDENT (through translator): People want that foreigner camp to be moved from here, because blasts have happened not just once or twice but seven or eight times.

HOLMES: The attacks in Kabul and on two regional capitals this week appear part of the Taliban strategy, perpetuating violence while negotiating an agreement with the U.S.

At the same time, Monday's explosion sent smoke rising above the city, the U.S. announcing a tentative pact with the militant group.

ZALMAY KHALILZAD, U.S. ENVOY FOR PEACE IN AFGHANISTAN (through translator): In principle, we have gotten there. The document is closed. But it's not finalized until we get the agreement of the U.S. president.

HOLMES: The U.S. special envoy to Afghanistan says a draft deal with the Taliban needs Donald Trump's approval.

That could see some of the 14,000 American troops there leaving within 135 days, marking the beginning of the end of a nearly 18-year conflict for the U.S. on which America has spent hundreds of billions of dollars and lost more than 2,000 American lives.

In exchange for America's withdrawal, the Taliban would commit to keeping other militant groups from using Afghanistan as a base for attacks on the U.S. or its allies. Crucially, Afghan government officials were not part of U.S.-Taliban

negotiations. The country's president is now reviewing the deal. His spokesman writes on Twitter that they need more clarity on the agreement and are concerned of potentially dangerous consequences of the peace deal.

[00:50:06]

It's one that may offer little hope for peace in Afghanistan, even after the U.S. has left, and another violent attack claims more lives.

Michael Holmes, CNN.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ALLEN: One of the defendants charged in California's Ghost Ship warehouse fire was found not guilty Thursday. Max Harris was acquitted on 36 charges of involuntary manslaughter, one charge for each person who died when the building caught fire during a dance party in 2016.

Harris collected rent from tenants in the building, which was used as an art collective.

Prosecutors also charged the warehouse's leaseholder, Derek Almena. His case ended in a home jury and will be retried.

Hurricane Dorian is brushing up against the southeastern U.S. coast. Millions still in harm's way. We'll have the latest on this -- where the storm is and where it's headed, next.

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[00:55:16]

ALLEN: Hurricane Dorian continues to march up the East Coast of the U.S. The Category 2 storm battering North Carolina with maximum sustained winds of 100 miles an hour. That's 155 kilometers per hour.

In addition to win and rain, tornadoes were also thrown into the mix Thursday. Throughout the day, North Carolina had reports of twisters smashing communities.

But it is nothing like the situation in the Bahamas, where entire towns are decimated. At least 30 people have been killed, but that is likely to rise, as hundreds of people remain unaccounted for.

We'll have more on the storm coming up in the next hour of CNN NEWSROOM, the other day's news for you. We'll take a break. I'll be right back.

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