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CNN NEWSROOM

Tropical Storm Humberto Threatens Bahamas; Cleanups and High- Fives after Sparring in Texas Debate; Several Israeli Electoral Candidates Face Corruption Allegations; Robert Mugabe's Memorial Service; Felicity Huffman Sentenced to 14 Days; U.K. Prime Minister Cautiously Optimistic He Can Get E.U. Deal; "Friends" Sitcom 25 Year Anniversary. Aired 5-6a ET

Aired September 14, 2019 - 05:00   ET

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


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GEORGE HOWELL, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): Another storm headed toward the Bahamas. The islands already so badly hit after Hurricane Dorian. We have a live look at Tropical Storm Humberto. Where it is now and where it's going.

Plus, the countdown is on to the next Israeli election. New polls show the race is tightening.

Also this hour, the scandal that had everything, celebrities, deep pockets and betrayal, now actress Felicity Huffman has been sentenced. We'll tell you what she's facing.

Live in CNN headquarters in Atlanta, we want to welcome our viewers here in the United States and around the world. I'm George Howell. CNN NEWSROOM starts right now.

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HOWELL: At 5:00 am here on the U.S. East Coast, we start with an eye to the Bahamas, the same islands that were hit so hard by Hurricane Dorian. They're bracing for another storm.

Here's a look. This time, it's Tropical Storm Humberto, newly formed in the Atlantic, it's expected to move closer to the northwest islands, bringing more rain, more winds. This is an area already recovering from a deadly hurricane. Thousands of people have been left homeless. Hundreds of people are still missing. We'll have more on what's happening.

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HOWELL: As we mentioned the search and recovery efforts there on the islands, it is still under way after Dorian. But another storm could temporarily slow or even halt the operation and cause even more problems. Our Dianne Gallagher has this.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) DIANNE GALLAGHER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Another storm hitting the exact same islands that Hurricane Dorian completely decimated kind of hits the Bahamians in two ways.

There is obviously a physical way, the fact that there is going to be rain and wind. And the homes or what is left of the homes on Abaco or in Marsh Harbour can't withstand much more.

Now there are NGOs, USAID and volunteers, who are out there. They are staying through the weather and they say that they have brought in additional supplies, because this is going to put a pause on relief efforts to those areas that were hardest hit two weeks ago.

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GALLAGHER: Because they simply can't fly to those islands to bring in supplies.

They have search and rescue teams on standby who will be spending the night through the weather just in case there is flash flooding or people need to be rescued.

And they've been going around giving hard, thick plastic tarps to the people who are trying to stay in what is left of their homes so they can best prepare for some more weather coming their way.

The Bahamian government would like for everyone to evacuate to shelters. Here in the Nassau area, there are 2,000 people who have come from those areas that were hardest hit by Dorian, who are staying in shelters right now.

And that is when you get to the other effect, the emotional, the mental anguish, of yet another storm, more howling wind and heavy rain coming to the same areas you just fled from.

Hearing those sounds, knowing what is on the horizon, adding to the trauma that all of these people have already experienced. There are some 1,300 people on that official list of the missing and so much more to do to even begin to talk about recovery here in the Bahamas.

First, they have to get through another bout of weather -- Dianne Gallagher, CNN, Nassau, the Bahamas.

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HOWELL: Dianne, thank you.

Shifting now to U.S. politics: one of the key moments in Thursday night's debate of presidential candidates, it came when the former cabinet secretary, Julian Castro, appeared to slam the former vice president, Joe Biden, about his memory. Other candidates pushed back against Castro.

Castro himself later said it was not a personal attack; rather, he said a discussion over policy. Biden hasn't responded directly about the exchange but his campaign has. Here's Biden's deputy campaign chairman.

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KATE BEDINGFIELD, BIDEN CAMPAIGN DEPUTY CHAIRMAN: Secretary Castro likes to talk about who has learned the lessons of the past and I think it's very clear that he hasn't learned the lesson, that by attacking Joe Biden in incredibly personal terms is not the way to advance yourself in the polls.

It certainly hasn't been true for anybody else who has tried to attack Joe Biden in these debates over the last few months.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HOWELL: And the U.S. president Donald Trump is also blasting the Democratic candidates but that's not all, he's also going after those who want to impeach him. And for good measure, he's even taking on light bulbs. Our Jim Acosta has this.

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JIM ACOSTA, CNN SR. WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Brushing off talk of impeachment coming from the House tweeting, "You don't impeach presidents for doing a good (great) job." President Trump is spoiling for a fight with the Democratic contenders for 2020.

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: More than 130 Democrats in Congress have signed up for the Bernie Sanders total government takeover of health care. Crazy Bernie. He's a crazy guy.

ACOSTA: Slamming his Democratic rivals in a speech in Baltimore as they were holding their debate in Houston, the president once again resorted to racially loaded attacks as he blasted Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren and raised questions about former Vice President Joe Biden's mental fitness.

TRUMP: I hit Pocahontas way too early. I thought she was gone. She's emerged from the ashes. And now it looks like she could beat sleepy Joe. He's fallen asleep. He has no idea what the hell he's doing or saying.

ACOSTA: As the president mocked Biden's occasional gaffes, Mr. Trump had one of his own.

TRUMP: Sat around and Chuck Grassley was there and Joni Ernst and John Thune and Mike Pounds -- just a whole group of great people.

ACOSTA: The White House later said the president meant to refer to Senator Mike Browns and the president also mocked environmentalist taking a dim view on energy efficient light bulbs because of how they make him look. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: The bulb that we're being forced to use, number one, to me, most importantly, the lights no good. I always look orange. And so do you. The light is the worst. But number two, it's many times more expensive than that old incandescent bulb that worked very well. ACOSTA: In his own speech to GOP lawmakers Vice President Mike Pence poked fun at Biden too.

MIKE PENCE, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: He said, I'm the vice president of the United States. So, let me be clear. I am the vice president of the United States.

ACOSTA: Pence then pounced on former Texas Congressman Beto O'Rourke.

PENCE: When they were talking about hire taxes, they were talking about gun control. And not just gun control, you had leading candidates for the highest office in the land talking about taking firearms away from law-abiding citizens.

ACOSTA: That was in reference to this moment.

O'ROURKE: Hell, yes, we're going to take your AR-15 and your AK-47.

ACOSTA: Moderate Democrats are not on board with that idea and worry O'Rourke may have just jeopardized efforts in Congress to find a compromise on new gun control laws.

SEN. CHRIS COONS (D-DE): I don't think the majority of the Senate or the country is going to embrace mandatory buybacks.

We need to focus on what we could get done and we need to focus on the challenge here.

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COONS: Which is that majority leader Mitch McConnell and the Republicans in the Senate and our president are refusing to listen to the 93 percent of Americans who want us to do something on background checks.

ACOSTA: The president promised to unveil a tax cut during the next year but the president has not said how he plans on paying for that. The Treasury Department said the nation's deficit passed the $1 trillion mark for this year.

As a candidate, Mr. Trump promised to eliminate the national debt. The truth is, he's expanding it rapidly -- Jim Acosta, CNN, the White House.

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HOWELL: A lot to put into focus with Natasha Lindstaedt, a professor of government at the University of Essex joining us from England.

Good to have you with us.

NATASHA LINDSTAEDT, UNIVERSITY OF ESSEX: Thanks for having me.

HOWELL: Again, the left-right binary; two issues you will hear on conservative talk shows that are the Right's bogeyman. The first the suggestion that the Democratic Party is shifting further to the Left, no room for moderates, they say.

And that Democrats will take Americans' guns. So the comments from Beto O'Rourke check off both boxes for the Right. It has lawmakers also concerned, Natasha, that those comments could make it harder to find compromise. Let's listen.

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SEN. CHRIS COONS (D-DE): And I frankly think that clip will be played for years at Second Amendment rallies with organizations that try to scare people, that say Democrats are coming for your guns.

I'm a gun owner. My sons and I have gone skeet shooting and hunting and, frankly, I don't think having our presidential candidates like Congressman O'Rourke did, say that we're going to try and take people's guns against their will is a wise either policy or political move.

POPPY HARLOW, CNN ANCHOR: Did he hurt the party?

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HOWELL: Poppy Harlow asked the question, did he hurt the party here and how will this play moving forward when it comes to the issue of gun control?

LINDSTAEDT: Yes, I think it's a good question. And I would disagree with what Chris Coons is saying, that it's going to hurt the party. Because Republicans are going to vote for Trump no matter what. And Democrats are going to vote for whoever is against Trump.

So it's really all about riling up their bases and then trying to somehow attract independents at the same time.

If we look at polls, we've already talked about this before, you have almost or over 90 percent of the American people in favor of background checks; 87 percent are in favor of red flag laws where guns can be confiscated from people who appear to be dangerous to themselves or others.

And you have 56 percent of the public in favor of banning assault weapons. And 52 percent are actually agreeing with O'Rourke and are in favor of some sort of buyback process. So what O'Rourke said wasn't that out of the norm.

And if you look at what Democrats said, 74 percent of Democrats are in favor of a buyback process and 49 percent of independents. We look at assault weapons. You know, it's only been 15 years that Americans have been able to purchase assault weapons since the 2004 ban ended.

And assault weapons are only 3 percent of all rifles that Americans own. What he's saying it's not that radical or that crazy and it was going to rile up the Democratic base. You hear the crowd erupting when he said this.

Of course, the Republicans are going to play this over and over again. And they're going to try to rile up their base.

But what O'Rourke has been saying is that there are more Americans than not that are actually in favor of gun control. And that the U.S. congress men need to stop being afraid of the NRA. So in this regard, I would disagree with what Chris Coons is saying. I think what O'Rourke is saying is actually getting the base energized.

HOWELL: It is interesting to your point, Natasha, there are those loud voices on the Right. Loud voices on the Left. And the question is what does it mean for the people in the middle of all of this?

And polling indicates that many Americans do want to see some movement on this issue.

Also, I want to talk to you about the flap over Julian Castro's comments to Joe Biden. Biden's campaign calling it a cheap shot to Biden's age. Castro denying that was the intention.

But there's also an interesting bit to see Joe Biden really embracing this issue, saying it's OK to consider age as a point of discussion. Keeping in mind, Donald Trump 73 years old, I believe. Joe Biden is 76.

LINDSTAEDT: Right. And I think when Julian Castro went after his age, I don't think that played out very well. The Democrats need to stay united because most Democrats want to beat Trump.

And they see these types of attacks -- and this attack was very personal against a candidate who is the front-runner, who is popular and who wasn't attacking him personally.

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LINDSTAEDT: And so, it just seemed very vicious. And it didn't go over well when Swalwell, in a previous debate, did something similar, talking about Joe Biden's age.

So I think these types of attacks against the front-runner are going to backfire. They're better off attacking Trump, trying to remain united and trying to distinguish themselves amongst the other candidates as to why you should vote for him, not why you shouldn't vote for Joe Biden.

HOWELL: Natasha Lindstaedt giving us perspective, thank you.

The next Democratic debate, keep in mind, October 15th in the state of Ohio with a second night possible if candidates can qualify for that debate. CNN and "The New York Times" will co-host the event on October 15th.

Israel's political world is in upheaval as voters there prepare for the second election in four months. We'll take a look at why the outcome is impossible to predict there.

Plus, a memorial service for Robert Mugabe is underway right now in the capital of Zimbabwe. A live report there as CNN NEWSROOM continues.

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HOWELL: Two Saudi Arabian oil facilities have come under attack from drones, this according to the Saudi interior ministry. It says the fires caused by the drones at the Aramco oil facilities have been put out.

Houthi rebels have claimed responsibility for the attacks, saying they deployed 10 drones. The statement was reportedly made by the group's spokesperson.

In Israel, the final polls are out before Tuesday's general election and they show a race that is too tight to call. Take a look at these numbers, they're dramatically close. It leaves neither the prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu nor his opposition Benny Gantz with a clear path to form a coalition.

Tuesday's vote is a repeat of the April election, when both parties tied at 35 seats each. As the general election gets closer, Mr. Netanyahu is coming under increased scrutiny for charges of corruption. Our Oren Liebermann explains.

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OREN LIEBERMANN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): They are the dark clouds hanging over Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's political and personal life.

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LIEBERMANN (voice-over): Multiple accusations of corruption stemming from three separate investigations.

The 69-year old has denied the charges and on the campaign trail, he rarely discusses them. But he's facing allegations he took gifts from overseas businessman and prosecutors say he tried to get a newspaper mogul to give him more favorable coverage.

He also faces potential bribery charges. Prosecutors say he advanced regulatory benefits worth $300 million to help his friend, a wealthy businessman, also for favorable media coverage.

Netanyahu's troubles have led to a tight race.

BENJAMIN NETANYAHU, ISRAELI PRIME MINISTER (through translator): Right wing voters, right now, we are losing the election.

LIEBERMANN: In the final polls before election night, all five polls show a race too close to call and neither Netanyahu nor his opponent, former Israeli military chief of staff, Benny Gantz, has a clear path to victory. The coalition's scandals go beyond Netanyahu. Interior Minister Arye Dery served two years in prison the early 2000s after he was convicted of bribery, fraud and breach of trust. He returned to politics and is once interior minister and once again under investigation for similar charges.

And there's Deputy health minister Yaakov Litzman. Police say they have enough evidence to indict him on fraud and breach of trust for illegally helping a sexual predator avoid extradition.

Coalition chair David Bitan and welfare minister Haim Katz both resigned their positions following corruption investigations. Katz has already been indicted on charges of fraud and breach of trust.

All of these politicians insist they're innocent and they all may get their day in court to prove it. Until then, they're just hoping to win at the ballot box.

LIEBERMANN: One of the questions surrounding Netanyahu is, does he want to legislate immunity for himself from prosecution?

You can see he is not the only politician who may have that interest in mind. It is also important to note that in the opposition, someone was just released from two years in prison. He was accused of illegally sneaking cellphones to security prisoners -- Oren Liebermann, CNN, Jerusalem.

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HOWELL: Oren Liebermann now live in Jerusalem, with our Sam Kiley.

Picking up on Oren's reporting, Sam, certainly, Benjamin Netanyahu under a great deal of pressure. Not just about an election, though.

SAM KILEY, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: No, not just about an election. If he manages to win with his Likud Party, perhaps neck and neck, perhaps one seat ahead of the rival, Benny Gantz, then perhaps he might be able to introduce an immunity law through the Israeli Knesset.

And as Oren was observing there are other Knesset members that would like to extend immunity laws to members of the legislature.

But equally, that is by no means guaranteed. Looking at the polls, they show the third largest party polling is likely to be the Joint List, the predominantly Arab party with about 12 seats, which, obviously, they're very unlikely indeed to join any coalition involving the Likud.

So far, Blue and White have been lukewarm to say the least at the suggestion of any preelection pact. And then you have Avigdor Lieberman, former member of the Likud, former ally politically of Netanyahu, likely to poll around nine votes; he's avidly, avidly secularist.

That's problem for Likud trying to get into bed with secularist parties and the religious on the right.

HOWELL: This is complicated. Sam Kiley, we'll keep in touch with you and see how this plays out in the week ahead. Thank you.

It is the 15th straight weekend that we've seen demonstrations in Hong Kong. There were some scuffles between supporters of Mainland China and pro democracy protesters. This time, though, Hong Kong authorities denied requests for permits to hold weekend demonstrations. We'll continue to follow the story for you, of course.

In Zimbabwe, Robert Mugabe, who had a great deal of influence and power over the African continent for decades, is being remembered at a memorial service in Zimbabwe's capital.

This man who was loved by many, hated by many as well, he is being remembered this hour. You see so many people who have come together in the nation's capital. And dignitaries from across Africa around the world are there, recalling the man regarded as the founder of Zimbabwe.

The funeral planned for Sunday has been postponed, though. For more on that, let's go to our own Farai Sevenzo, a native of Zimbabwe.

Tell us, why the delay there?

FARAI SEVENZO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, there are many complications, George. First of all, remember, this is a man who was ousted from power two years ago in an apparent coup back in November 2017.

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SEVENZO: And the family with regards to the current government of Emmerson Mnangagwa, about where his remains should be buried, some say he should be buried in his village or at the national shrine where many of those who fought the Liberation War are now laid to rest, including Mr. Mugabe's contemporary at the time.

These differences have faded into the background in remembrance of the man, he's a complicated man, George. I must say that. He gave Zimbabwe its independence and at the same time, ruled with such an iron fist.

He brooked no opposition and it was only -- Zimbabwe was made independent in 1980. It was only until 2000 that it saw the first real opposition to the late Morgan Tsvangirai's movement.

So right now, everybody is commemorating that legacy of this complicated man. And acknowledging, that without him, many of the Southern African states including South Africa and Namibia, will not be free, because he was such a belligerent opponent to colonialism and apartheid.

But his legacy, as you've already said, was a complicated one.

HOWELL: While you were speaking, we saw the sign that was up there, it said, "Rest in peace, Gushungo," referring to Mugabe's plan. And we see dignitaries, as well as the president there as well, the presidents there to, of course, remember this man who was very important there in Africa, the African continent.

We appreciate your time, Farai Sevenzo, and we'll keep in touch as well.

It was a tough day for actress Felicity Huffman, the award-winning actress heard her sentence in the U.S. college cheating scandal. What she faces next -- ahead for you.

Plus, trouble on campus for the president of one of the world's largest Christian colleges. Why some of Jerry Falwell Jr.'s students are losing faith in him. Our report ahead as CNN NEWSROOM pushes on. Stay with us.

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HOWELL: Welcome back to our viewers here in the United States and around the world, you're watching CNN NEWSROOM live from Atlanta. I'm George Howell with the headlines following for you at this hour.

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HOWELL: Award-winning actress Felicity Huffman heads to prison in six weeks for her part in the U.S. college admissions cheating scam. She said that she was stupid to pay the scheme's organizer. She arranged to clandestinely boost her daughter's score on college admission tests. Our Brynn Gingras has more.

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BRYNN GINGRAS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Felicity Huffman remained stoic when the judge handed down her decision. Essentially the judge saying this wasn't about college reputations being tarnished or test-taking being compromised.

This was about kids, privileged kids, having a leg up on other college applicants. That's partly why she handed down the punishment she did.

GINGRAS (voice-over): Actress Felicity Huffman sentenced to 14 days in federal prison, ordered to pay a $30,000 fine and serve 250 hours of community service.

Huffman telling the court, "At the end of the day, I had a choice to make. I could have said no. I take full responsibility and will accept whatever punishment you give me."

In a statement released shortly after the hearing, she added, quote, "I broke the law, there are no excuses or justifications for my actions, period."

Prosecutors urged the judge to impose the harshest penalties, saying, "Most parents have the moral compass and integrity not to step over the line. The defendant did not."

Prior to today's sentencing, Huffman wrote a letter, explaining how she legitimately worked with the scheme's ringleader, Rick Singer, for a year before she agreed to cheat.

Huffman allowing Singer to hire a proctor who changed the answers on her oldest daughter's SAT, boosting her score. She said she considered using the services for her youngest daughter but backed out.

Huffman explaining in the letter how her poor decision damaged her relationship with her daughter.

"When my daughter looked at me and asked, with tears streaming down her face, 'Why didn't you believe in me?'

"I had no adequate answer for her. I could only say, 'I am sorry. I was frightened and I was stupid.'"

In the courtroom Huffman was joined by her husband, actor William H. Macy. He is one of 27 people who sent letters to the judge supporting the actress.

Macy wrote, "Huffman rarely goes outside, usually bombarded by the paparazzi."

But their oldest daughter, quote, "paid the dearest price."

When her first choice school denied her application two days after the scandal broke, "Do something, please, please do something," Macy said that she begged her parents.

Huffman is the second to be sentenced but the first to get prison time in the country's largest college admission scandal, which ensnared more than 50 college coaches, administrators and wealthy parents; 19 parents are still fighting the federal charges, including actress Lori Loughlin and her husband, fashion designer, Mossimo Giannulli.

The couple are accused of paying hundreds of thousands of dollars to get their two daughters into USC as crew recruits, even though neither rowed.

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GINGRAS (voice-over): Both turned down a plea deal from the state earlier this year and are scheduled to go to trial.

GINGRAS: Remember, those who didn't take a plea deal were handed down another charge in this case. So it will be interesting to see how the sentencing possibly could affect them in the future.

Now Felicity Huffman, her attorneys asked that she serve her 14 days in a prison near her home in California. Of course, that will be up to the Bureau of Prisons. But she reports to that sentencing on October 25th -- Brynn Gingras, CNN in Boston.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

HOWELL: A man who runs one of the biggest Christian universities in the world is now in trouble for the -- trouble is brewing, rather, for the president of Liberty University. We're talking about Jerry Falwell Jr. He's already under fire for business dealings at the Virginia institution, which was founded by his father.

Our Martin Savidge has this report.

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MARTIN SAVIDGE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Losing faith, an uncommon sight. Students protesting at one of the largest Christian colleges in the world, targeting the schools president, Jerry Falwell, Jr.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He's not being a great religious figure. He's not being a great leader.

SAVIDGE (voice-over): Founded in 1971 by his father, Jerry Falwell, Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia, today boast a student body of 110,000 students.

But Jerry Falwell, Jr. is facing a backlash over the culture and business dealings at the school. And just this week, the revelations from e-mails over the past decade in which Falwell belittle his students and staff members.

ELIZABETH BROOKS, JUNIOR LIBERTY UNIVERSITY: We want to know the truth. We want transparency through that process and we want accountability for Falwell himself. We want to know what the president is doing.

SAVIDGE (voice-over): Counter protestors were also on hand supporting Falwell.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think a lot of it has just been taken out of context to smear his name, personally, but I think some of it might be true. I think a lot of it probably is exaggerated.

SAVIDGE (voice-over): Reuters this week reported on dozens of e- mails, some of which contain offensive language. In one from 2010, Falwell reportedly called a then student emotionally imbalanced and physically retarded.

In a 2015 e-mail reported by Reuters, Falwell is quoted as lashing out about students parking and private lots instead of paying parking fees to Liberty, "These students need to learn to play by the rules or they can go to another college. I'm tired of this crap."

In other e-mails reported by Reuters, Falwell calls a university official, a bag of hot air who couldn't spell the word profit. In another, Reuters says, Falwell calls another official a half-wit and easy to manipulate.

Speaking to CNN, Falwell confirmed the e-mails were authentic, but said they lack context saying, "I would have to see the full thread to see what I was talking about."

Falwell also told CNN that the e-mails had been stolen and that he's asked the FBI to investigate what he calls a criminal conspiracy saying that former employees and board members have leaked documents and e-mails in an attempt to oust him.

Falwell's demands for a federal probe follow a political story based on e-mail and unnamed sources accusing him of presiding over a culture of self-dealing of the university including real estate transactions that would seem to benefit family and associates.

SAVIDGE (on camera): When asked about his week, Falwell said, quote, "I really don't care what they say. In the end, they are going to look like fools. So I'm actually very much enjoying this week," unquote -- Martin Savidge, CNN, Atlanta.

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A former British prime minister is speaking out about Brexit and the man who currently occupies Number 10. We'll have details on that ahead.

Plus for years, it's been shunned now a shiny metal very deep in the English countryside, suddenly gaining popularity.

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HOWELL: Welcome back to CNN NEWSROOM. I'm George Howell.

Climate activist Greta Thunberg has a message for Washington, D.C. On Friday, the Swedish teen joined many others, campaigning outside of the White House, calling for action on the climate crisis.

She's in the United States, urging Congress to take a long, hard look at what's happening to the environment and the world around. And her visit comes just days before planned global climate strikes by young people, next Friday, which will launch a week of action around the world.

In the United Kingdom, Brexit, the deadline is getting close. Just less than seven weeks away, Parliament has been suspended, the Conservative Party is in a state of disarray and there's still no agreement with the E.U. But if Boris Johnson is concerned, he didn't show it. On Friday, he

traveled to northern England and again offered vague assurances that everything will be OK.

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BORIS JOHNSON, U.K. PRIME MINISTER: I'm seeing president of the commission and the chief negotiator, Michel Barnier, on Monday and we'll talk about the ideas that we've been working on. And we'll see where we get. I mean, I would say I'm cautiously optimistic.

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HOWELL: That is not a widely shared view, though. Among those dismayed by the current state of affairs, the man who allowed all of this to happen, the Brexit referendum who kicked it off in the first place. Our Melissa Bell has this report.

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MELISSA BELL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Scathing criticism from David Cameron of Boris Johnson not only during the E.U. referendum campaign but also on the way he's handled himself since he took office.

It was the first time that the former British prime minister spoke out on the current political scene and he was pretty damning of how Boris Johnson has conducted himself and specifically of his suspension of Parliament.

Now today, Boris Johnson was up in Rotherham, speaking about Brexit, saying he was cautiously optimistic that a deal could be found. Hell be he'll be meeting with Michel Barnier and Jean-Claude Juncker, the E.U. Commission president in Luxembourg.

But he also said in that same speech that he would be sticking to the October 31st deadline, challenging that new law passed by MPs, saying that if no deal was found, then it will have to go back to MPs because then it's up to the parliamentarians to give a final say, either to a no-deal exit for the U.K. or to a deal agreed with the E.U.

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BELL: A great deal of pressure then, on the British prime minister not only from parliamentarians like John Bercow who insisted last night, whatever happens, the U.K. Parliament will be doing all it can to make sure Boris Johnson respects that new law that they voted through just before the suspension of Parliament.

A lot of pressure also from the judiciary. On Tuesday, we will learn what the high court thinks of the legality of the suspension of Parliament. A lot of pressure then on Boris Johnson to find a deal with the E.U. allowing him to avoid a constitutional crisis and claim an important victory that, for the time being, seems very unlikely -- Melissa Bell, CNN, London.

(END VIDEOTAPE) HOWELL: No matter what happens with Brexit, there is one part of the English countryside that sees a bright future. All of that thanks to a common metal that is found deep underground.

And believe it or not, this ordinary metal, it's tin, it's just what the modern world needs and Cornwall has a lot of it. Our Nina dos Santos takes us there.

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NINA DOS SANTOS, CNNMONEY EUROPE EDITOR (voice-over): Cornwall's tin coast, rich in minerals and ruined mines, an industrial legacy which could soon be reborn thanks to big tech and Brexit.

Tin has been extracted from the rock in this otherwise rural part of the U.K. for millennia. In the late 1870s, when these engine houses were originally built, Cornwall was the world's biggest producer of tin, home to 2,000 mines dotted across its countryside.

The last of those, South Crofty, closed its doors two decades ago after tin prices plunged and developing economies cornered the market. But now it could be the first to reopen, creating 275 jobs.

And that journey towards Cornwall's mining revival begins here, around 300 meters below the surface.

Getting the mine up and running in two years won't be easy. Hundreds of miles of tunnels need to be surveyed and drained. But with demand for smart devices on the rise, South Crofty's new Canadian owners think that they can make Cornish tin profitable once more.

RICHARD WILLIAMS, STRONGBOW EXPLORATION: Tin has been aptly described today as the glue in the high-tech world. Renewable energy, electric vehicles, power generation, power storage, 5G, all of these things require tin.

What better way to avoid the concept that you're sourcing tin from potentially areas of conflict or areas where you have child exploitation than to find it here in Cornwall?

DOS SANTOS: South Crofty could become one of the only tin mines in Europe and North America, giving technology companies an opportunity to clean up supply chains, Brexit notwithstanding.

WILLIAMS: Well, you know, in our mines, this is Brexit-proof. One of the points that we put forward to Cornwall Council and the U.K. government in particular is that you can't move a tin deposit.

DOS SANTOS: Cornish tin's future also lies in its past. The region was once the Wild West of England as seen here in the BBC drama, "Poldark," attracting prospectors from all over the country. They've left their mark on the landscape to the delight of the 4.5 visitors who flock to Cornwall each year.

Mark Wills' family have been tin miners for four generations. MARK WILLS, BLUE HILLS TIN: My father was the last one of us to actually work underground. There's no longer profit in selling it wholesale. So we, grant you (ph), renovated some old machinery onsite and started producing tin ourselves.

Whether people were just interested in the architecture of the buildings or the physical process that the mineral has to go through to get there, it seems to capture different people.

DOS SANTOS (voice-over): Even if mining doesn't return to Cornwall on its previous scale, this ancient metal is already helping this western province of the British Isles to shine again -- Nina dos Santos, CNN, Cornwall, England.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

Well, it was a hit show in the United States that you could say had its friends around the world. We look back at the show "Friends" on the 25th anniversary of this popular sitcom.

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MATT LEBLANC, ACTOR, "JOEY TRIBBIANI": Look, turning 30 is not that big a deal.

DAVID SCHWIMMER, ACTOR, " ROSS GELLER": Oh, really, is that how you felt when you turned 30?

TRIBBIANI: Why God, why?

We had a deal. Let the others grow old, not me.

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HOWELL: The cast of the U.S. sitcom "Friends" is celebrating a happy anniversary, 25 years of a show that changed television, some say, and it still has brands cashing in on that show's popularity.

Now thanks to video streaming, another generation is discovering that famous couch at Central Perk, those six friends are forever remembered. Our Clare Sebastian has this report.

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CLARE SEBASTIAN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: From product placement...

COURTENEY COX, ACTOR, "MONICA GELLER": This Wonder Broom is amazing. MATTHEW PERRY, ACTOR, "CHANDLER BING": Hey.

SEBASTIAN: -- to memorabilia and even haircuts, "Friends" has always been a brand that sells.

SEBASTIAN (on-camera): And 25 years on, that hasn't changed. It still not enough of viewers just to watch the show. They want to live in the world of Monica, Chandler, Ross, Rachel and Phoebe and Joey.

And that means eating their food, sitting on their couch and, of course, drinking their coffee.

SEBASTIAN (voice-over): And businesses are taking advantage. Coffee chain Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf jumps to the chance of a tie-up for the anniversary, launching a special edition range of coffee, specialty drinks and memorabilia.

DARRIN KELLARIS, VP MARKETING, COFFEE BEAN AND TEA LEAF: Our "Friends" themed coffee mugs, we pre-released and actually sold out in about three hours.

SEBASTIAN: They also hosted two pop-up Central Perk events in Los Angeles in August.

KELLARIS: Those two locations we saw significance spikes in foot traffic. But more importantly as a business, it really bolstered system-wide sales.

JENNIFER ANISTON, ACTOR, "RACHEL GREEN": Isn't it cool? It's an apothecary table.

SEBASTIAN: Pottery Barn also brought back the famous apothecary table, which, despite its thousand-dollar price tag, is a top seller in its department, the company says. Must be the antique properties.

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LISA KUDROW, ACTOR, "PHOEBE BUFFAY": You can almost smell the opium.

SEBASTIAN: Even Lego is getting in on the action with the $60 replica of Central Perk. Lego says it's one of its fastest selling sets ever.

SEBASTIAN (on-camera): Now, of course, none of these promotions would work nearly as well if Friends haven't experienced the revival in the age of streaming. Last year, it was Netflix's second most watched show.

And the company reportedly paid around $100 million to keep the rights to the show for one more year, before it goes on a break moving to one of media's HBO Max streaming service in 2020.

DAN IVES, EQUITY ANALYST, WEDBUSH SECURITIES: It's an iconic show and, ultimately, it's really one of the crown jewels of streaming. Everything's changed now with HBO coming in a major shot across to battle Netflix, taking "Friends."

And I ultimately believe 2 percent to 3 percent of Netflix viewers watch it just because of "Friends."

SEBASTIAN: So for those who say friends and the money don't mix...

"PHOEBE": What's more important, your friends or money?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Friends.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Money.

SEBASTIAN: -- this 25-year-old sitcom still gets the last laugh.

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HOWELL: I know Clare really liked that story. On her Instagram she said, "Life made, sitting there on that couch."

Keeping in mind "Friends" is owned by Warner Brothers TV, which is part of CNN's parent company, Warner Media.

Of course, watch our CNN special report "Friends Forever: 25 Years of Laughter," airing at 10:00 in the morning in Hong Kong right here on CNN.

We thank you for watching this hour of the CNN NEWSROOM. I'm George Howell at the CNN Center in Atlanta. For our viewers in the United States, "NEW DAY" is next. For the viewers around the world "ERIN BURNETT OUTFRONT" is next. Thanks for watching.

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