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Hurricane-Ravaged Bahamas Brace for New Storm; Felicity Huffman Sentencing Today in College Admission Scandal; PA Steel Town Still Waiting for Trump's Promise to Come True; CNN Special "Friends Forever: 25 Years Of Laughter" Airs Sunday at 9:00 P.M. Aired 11:30a- 12p ET

Aired September 13, 2019 - 11:30   ET




KATE BOLDUAN, CNN ANCHOR: Nearly two weeks since Hurricane Dorian devastated the Bahamas, there are still 1300 people missing there and a final death toll not yet reported.

With all of that, those same islands now need to brace for another potential storm. And parts of the United States need to be on alert as well.

CNN Meteorologist Chad Myers is watching all of this.

Chad, what are you seeing right now?

CHAD MYERS, AMS METEOROLOGIST: I'm seeing a really disorganized storm, which is great news. The area that got hit so hard is over here, Great Abaco and also Grand Bahama. The big convection of the day is over here. Hurricane Center thinks the low is there. That may move to the east later on today. Nothing really with an organized center. Certainly no eye, no real rotation around this.

There's lightning, thunder and heavy rain on top of tens of thousands of people that don't have homes, don't have roofs, even if they have anything left from their house at all. Four inches of new rain on top of Great Abaco over the next 24 to 36 hours. It's going to be a rainmaker until it develops.

Until that happens, there won't be a lot of wind and certainly no surge. When the wind does develop, it will eventually turn up toward the north and the northeast. That is the good news.

Kate, that's a big pool of cold water. How did that cold water get there? Dorian mixed it up. So we don't have very hot water. The potential might be less than for Dorian. Good news there.

BOLDUAN: Good news. Hopefully, cold water will take it. Hopefully that will protect us.


BOLDUAN: Hopefully, protect Florida especially.

Great to see you, Chad.

MYERS: Thanks.

BOLDUAN: Chad's going to keep an eye on that as it progresses over the next day.

Plus, coming up for us still today, today could mark a development in the college admissions scandal. Will Actress Felicity Huffman be the first person charged in the case to see actual jail time? We'll take you live to the courthouse where this is going to be decided.



BOLDUAN: A huge day in the college admissions scandal. Actress Felicity Huffman could be the first person charged in this massive case to go to prison. She'll find out in a couple hours.

Prosecutors are asking the judge to sentence her to a month in prison, pay a $20,000 fine for her part in what the FBI has called largest college admissions scam ever uncovered.

CNN's Brynn Gingras has more on Huffman's case.


BRYNN GINGRAS, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Today, Felicity Huffman will have one more chance to ask a judge to spare her prison time. The award-winning actress admitting and apologizing for her involvement in the nationwide college admissions scandal.

In a letter sent to the judge prior to today's sentencing, Huffman wrote, "I have a deep and abiding shame over what I have done, shame and regret that I will carry for the rest of my life."

Huffman admits to paying the mastermind of the scandal, Rick Singer, $15,000 to alter her oldest daughter's test scores.

In that same memo, she explains how she worked with Singer legitimately for a year on her daughter's college application process before saying yes to the cheating scheme. It's a decision she says has damaged her relationship with her daughter.

Quote, "When my daughter looked at me and asked with tears streaming down her face, why didn't you believe in me, I could only say, I'm sorry, I was frightened and stupid."

The actress is the second person to be sentenced in the scandal that broke in March resulting in the arrest of over 50 people, including college coaches, administrators and wealthy parents. More than a dozen parents struck plea deals with the federal government on a single fraud charge. In June, former Stanford sailing coach, John Vandemoer, received no

prison time for his role in the scheme after the judge in that case determined there were no victims since he didn't pocket any money exchanged.

The prosecution believes Huffman should spend a month behind bars and pay a $20,000 fine, setting the tone that the privileged aren't above the law.

U.S. attorney, Andrew Lelling, wrote in a filing, quote, "Home confinement would be a joke penological joke, conjuring images of defendants padding around in oppressive homes waiting for the end of curfew. Probation with community service is too lenient and to easily coopted for its P.R. value. And a fine is meaningless for defendants wealthy enough to commit this crime in the first place."


Huffman's attorneys are asking for one-year probation, community service, a fine, and no prison time.


GINGRAS: Today's sentencing may also have future implications on those who are fighting the charges, like Actress Lori Loughlin, who is accused of paying hundreds of thousands of dollars to get her two daughters admitted to USC as crew recruits.


GINGRAS: And the judge is also going to be considering 27 letters written in support of Huffman, mostly from family members, including her husband, William H. Macy.

Kate, we're waiting to see if he shows up to show his support in the courtroom as well. We'll keep you posted.

BOLDUAN: Great. Thank you so much, Brynn. Really appreciate it.

Coming up for us, it's a former steel town that President Trump promised to revive, now it's literally crumbling. We'll take you there, next.


BOLDUAN: Detroit is one American city that has seen hard times. Even in the midst of its current economic revival, more than one-third of its residents live in poverty. This week's "CNN Hero" is determined to change that.


NAJAH BAZZY, CNN HERO: Working as a nurse, I went to visit this Iraqi refugee family and an infant that was dying. There at the house, they absolutely had nothing.

There was no refrigerator, there was no stove, there was no crib. The baby was in a laundry basket.

I decided this wasn't going to happen on my watch.

How is your apprenticeship going?


BAZZY: Nurses are supposed to fix things. We are healers.

And this is just a place that heals the world.


BOLDUAN: For the full story and much more, go to


We'll be right back.


BOLDUAN: There are too many towns that symbolize the boom and bust in the Rust Belt. Monessen, Pennsylvania, is one of them. Once a thriving steel town with a population of 25,000, but now the steel mill is shuttered and just a fraction of the people remain.

If Monessen is a poster child of the steel industry's good times and bad, is Monessen now going to become the poster child of the president's trade war and a failed campaign promises when the president said he'd bring that industry back.

CNN's Vanessa Yurkevich went to find out.


JOHN GOLOMB, RETIRED STEELWORKER: I'm going to look at the mill because I've got so many memories.

VANESSA YURKEVICH, CNN BUSINESS AND POLITICS REPORTER (voice-over): It's been 32 years since John Golomb worked in this steel mill in Monessen, Pennsylvania. Once the lifeblood of this town, now it's gone. He still wears his jacket to remember.

GOLOMB: But this is all I have left after all those years I had with the mill. I gave them my heart and soul and there's many men and women who did the same as I -- and especially in Pittsburgh -- in the Pittsburgh area -- and it's like we were spat upon.

YURKEVICH: Which is why this Democrat voted Republican for the first time after then-Candidate Donald Trump came to town.

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Many of these areas have still never recovered and never will unless I become president.

GOLOMB: And then we had Donald Trump come here and profess about reviving American steel, and that's just what all of us steelworkers wanted to hear. Then when he was elected, he pulled a Houdini on us, he disappeared.

YURKEVICH: Monessen was a thriving steel town but it has lost half its population since the mill closed in the '80s. Today, it's coming apart at the seams. The poverty rate is 60 percent higher than the national average. And now, what little business remains is being threatened by the trade war.

YURKEVICH (on camera): But all from China.

BUZZY BYRON, OWNER, B&D FIREWORKS: They're all from China, yes.

YURKEVICH (voice-over): Buzzy Byron also worked at the steel mill but he's found new life in his fireworks shop and spots apparel store in town. Both will be hit with a 15 percent tariff.

BYRON: Nobody wants to see the price go up, I don't care what it is. You don't want to come in here this year and spend 10 bucks for this and then come back next year and spend 15.

And I feel bad because I know all of these people and I don't -- you know, I feel bad that where I'm not going to let you pay that bigger, higher price.

YURKEVICH: The trade war is expected to cost American families $1,000 more each year.

MATTHEW SHORRAW, MAYOR OF MONESSEN, PENNSYLVANIA: That is something that residents that are already struggling can't afford. We need jobs here, but we need jobs that fit the 21st century.

We were founded to help supplement what Pittsburgh was doing with steel and I think that we could play that role again.

YURKEVICH: While the mayor sees opportunity, Golomb has lost hope. He says voters in the Rust Belt, like him, believed President Trump had their backs, helping to elect him. Now, he feels lied to.

YURKEVICH (on camera): If you had an opportunity to see the president again --


YURKEVICH: -- if he came back to Monessen, Pennsylvania, what would you say to him?

GOLOMB: He wouldn't speak to me. He wouldn't speak to me --


GOLOMB: -- because I'd have to tell him the truth. Where are your promises?


YURKEVICH: John's story and the story of Monessen, Pennsylvania, is not unique. This is happening up and down the Rust Belt. [11:50:03]

And, Kate, it's not just about whether or not the president can maintain his support here. It's about whether or not any of the Democratic candidates we saw on stage last night can connect with voters here. And in order to do that, they have to come to places like Monessen, Pennsylvania, to win their trust and deliver on their promises -- Kate?

BOLDUAN: If there's anyone, from the president to any of the Democratic on down, has a plan to help places like Monessen, Pennsylvania.

It's great to have you there, Vanessa. Thanks so much for your great reporting.

Coming up for us still, 25 years. That is how long it's been since the world first met "Friends" Rachel, Monica, Phoebe, Chandler, Ross and Joey. First, it all started right there, on that couch. It's all part of new CNN special. A preview, next.



BOLDUAN: So, friends, how do you like our new set piece? Yes? Keeper? No, we are not now in Central Perk.

But the beloved sitcom "Friends" is celebrating 25 years since its debut. And it all started right here on this beloved sofa. And along the way, viewers watched the iconic New Yorkers drink coffee, sing about smelly cat, of course, and make television history.

"Friends" was produced by Warner Brothers, which is part of CNN's parent company, Warner Media.

Now a new CNN special, "FRIENDS FOREVER: 25 YEARS OF LAUGHTER," looks at how it all began and the secrets behind the show's success. Here's a preview.



WARREN LITTLEFIELD, FORMER PRESIDENT, NBC ENTERTAINMENT: "Friends" was a monster hit in ways it's hard to imagine today.


LITTLEFIELD: There's no half-hour comedy that's ever been more successful throughout the world for 25 years.

DAVID SCHWIMMER, ACTOR: We were on a break!



ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: And what about the effect it's had on television?


LITTLEFIELD: It's not like "Friends" can really be replicated, that sense of everyone is watching this particular thing all at the same time.

SCHWIMMER: If you would all please join me in raising a glass.

LITTLEFIELD: It doesn't really exist anymore. So in that sense, I really see "Friends" as being the last of its kind.


LITTLEFIELD: Netflix was willing to pay either $80 or $100 million depending on who you ask to keep it in streaming for one year.


PERRY: OK, OK, OK, fine. You win.

CAMEROTA: The run on Netflix, are you surprised by that?

MARTA KAUFFMAN, CO-CREATOR, EXECUTIVE PRODUCER: Shocked. Shocked and so grateful. It's given the show such a resurgence, not only here but around the world.

MATT LEBLANC, ACTOR: Check this out, huh?


LEBLANC: Oh, yes. That's the stuff.

KAUFFMAN: I always thought my only legacy would be my children. And there's something so humbling and yet thrilling about knowing this has lived on.


BOLDUAN: Joining me now is the costume designer for all 10 seasons of the show, Debra McGuire.

Thank you for being here.


BOLDUAN: When you hear it's been 25 years since you launched this show, what do you think?

MCGUIRE: Well, it's amazing. And, you know, I think of the 25 years because I had a child who was five days old at the first fitting. So I look at this grown woman that I have, and that's how old the show is. BOLDUAN: That's awesome.

Watching "Friends" now, it really is, i guess, a time capsule of '90s fashion: the denim, the plaid, the slip dresses. Oh, how we miss them so.

Were you reflecting -- were you reflecting what you were seeing around you at the time in your choices, or were you trying to set trends kind of beyond, of course, Rachel Green's hairstyle?

MCGUIRE: I don't like using the word "trend," but I didn't want to do anything that had already existed, that's for sure. I just wanted it to be something unique. And I think that I wanted the wardrobe to be aspirational like everything else was, the sets, everything.

So I felt like, you wanted to be a part of that world, and how are we going to accomplish that? So there was a tad of aspiration that had to be added to everything that we did.

BOLDUAN: I'm sure you have a million memories, but can you share a favorite? Every "Friends" fan will remember, especially when it comes to the costumes, Joey wearing all of Chandler's clothes at once. How did that even work?

MCGUIRE: It was amazing. And how it worked was you entered from the back, so it opened in the back. And all those pieces were all the things from his wardrobe that were just tiny pieces of that the viewers would remember as pieces in his wardrobe. So it was pretty amazing.

BOLDUAN: Pretty amazing. That really is just so fabulous. And what a fabulous chapter in your life to be part of what is a great career.

Debra, thank you so much for coming on. Thank you for sharing that.

MCGUIRE: You're so welcome.

BOLDUAN: I really, really appreciate it.

"FRIENDS FOREVER: 25 YEARS OF LAUGHTER" airs Sunday at 9:00 p.m., right here on CNN.

And I think we're going to keep this. I'm pretty sure we're going to keep this. Even though I can't.


Thanks, everybody, for joining me.

"INSIDE POLITICS" with John King starts right now.