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15th Straight Week of Protests in Hong Kong; U.K. Prime Minister to Meet with European Commission President; Hurricane Victims Face More Tension Weeks After Storm; Trump Says U.S. Locked And Loaded After Oil Attacks; Rouhani Slams U.S. And Saudis For Involvement In Yemen; Crude Oil Prices Soar After Strikes On Saudi Oil Sites; U.S. Lawmakers Weigh In On Saudi Oil Strikes; Netanyahu Fights To Survive Another Election; Netanyahu To Annex Parts Of West Bank If Re-Elected. Aired 12-1a ET

Aired September 16, 2019 - 00:00   ET




NATALIE ALLEN, CNN NEWSROOM: President Trump raises the specter of a U.S. military response after attacks on Saudi oil facilities, a move which could increase tensions in a region already on edge.

With just one day until a crucial election, Israel's prime minister fights to hold his grip on power. Benjamin Netanyahu's campaign is pulling out all the stops.

A peaceful but unauthorized protest turns ugly in Hong Kong when radical protesters throw bricks and petrol bombs at police, who retaliated with tear gas and water cannons. In other words, it just goes on and on.

Hello, everyone. Thank you for joining us. I am Natalie Allen at CNN Center in Atlanta, and this is CNN Newsroom.

Our top story, the United States is weighing a response to this weekend's attacks on Saudi oil sites. President Donald Trump tweeted, the U.S. is locked and loaded, but still wants verification of who is to blame. His Secretary of State blames Iran for the attacks, which the country denies. But it's Houthi allies in Yemen say they are responsible and hit the sites with drones.

A U.S. official though says the angle of the strikes would have been difficult from Yemen and that the attacks likely originated in Iran or Iraq.

Regardless of who is to blame, the strikes have crippled the Saudi oil industry. These images from NASA show the damage from space. And while Iran insists it was not involved, its President, Hassan Rouhani, is slamming the U.S. and Saudi Arabia for their roles in Yemen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) HASSAN ROUHANI, IRANIAN PRESIDENT: The Americans are supporting the UAE and Saudi Arabia. They are transferring weapons. They are providing intelligence and part of the war operations has been run by the Americans. And we see that every day, innocent people are killed in Yemen. There is an ongoing insecurity in the region.


ALLEN: There was talk before the attacks. Mr. Rouhani might meet with President Trump at the U.N. General Assembly this month. Trump aide, Kellyanne Conway, did not rule out a meeting, but she did blame Iran for the Saudi strikes.


KELLYANNE CONWAY, WHITE HOUSE SENIOR COUNSELOR: The president will always consider his options. And he's never -- we've never committed to that committing at the United Nations General Assembly. The president just said he's looking at it. And so I will allow the president to announce a meeting or a non-meeting.

But when you attack the Saudi Arabia, and as the Secretary of State has noted, they've attacked dozens and dozens of times. They attack civilian areas, critical infrastructure to, indeed, the global economy, global energy stability, you are not helping your case much.


ALLEN: So, far Saudi Arabia is not pointing the finger at Iran. CNN's Nick Paton Walsh has more on what we are learning from Tehran.

NICK PATON WALSH, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: An extraordinary development, frankly, where just a matter of days with the departure of U.S. National Security John Bolton from the White House, many were thinking that, now, the ultimate Iran hawk was gone, maybe diplomacy would get a chance.

Well, after substantial attacks on those Saudi oil facilities, no doubt about it, it is really a game changer in terms of the tension in the region. Iran woke up to find U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo had, in fact, accused them directly of being behind that attack. In his two tweets, he provided no evidence but certainly set the idea that maybe diplomacy was going to given a pace or two.

Now, we are in a complicated situation, the world really waiting for the details of who carried out this attack. Now, the notion is put forward by the Yemeni Houthi rebels who claimed responsibility for the attack, as they ten drones. Those were adequately technologically advanced to fly tens of billions of dollars worth of Saudi air defenses, and hit these two priced oil refineries, all ten of them.

Now, there are suggestion maybe that the Houthis have got the substantial advances in drone technology in the past years or so. In fact, Iranian officials have said it's within their capabilities. But then there's also some who say geography analyst who say the geography of where these attacks were puts it a lot closer to Southern Iraq and even possibly Iran across the Persian Gulf there.

Iran has categorically denied any involvement in this attack at all. Their foreign minister, Javad Zarif, saying that the U.S. is rather practicing maximum pressure, and I paraphrase it, instead practicing max deceit.

What was also notable is the victim of these attacks, Saudi Arabia, has yet directly accused Iran as well.


Is that because they fear if they did so, they may be forced into retaliation and that could inflame the situation yet more or is that because they are not clear themselves? We'll find that answer out possibly in the days and weeks ahead too.

Some analysts are saying maybe now, the ultimate Iraq hawk of the Trump administration, John Bolton, is out the door, maybe Mike Pompeo, the U.S. Secretary of State, is trying to sound tough on Iran as well. Maybe the U.S. is trying to corner Tehran into some kind of negotiation at the U.N. General Assembly between Donald Trump and his counterpart in Iran, Hassan Rouhani. That's unclear too.

But we had sea change from where a matter of 48 hours ago, diplomacy seemed to be the most likely option between U.S. and Iran after months of tension. Now, we're in an entirely different world where the oil field is still burning.

Nick Paton Walsh, CNN, Tehran.

ALLEN: Let's talk more about it right now. I'm joined by CNN Intelligence and Security Analyst, Bob Baer. He is a former CIA operative. Bob, thanks for being with us.

Well, this is somewhat of a mystery, isn't it? According to senior administration officials, the Saudi attack likely came from Iran or Iraq. 19 Saudi targets were struck in Saturday's attack. Houthi rebels claimed it took ten drones. So how will officials be able to decipher who and what was behind this?

BOB BAER, CNN INTELLIGENCE AND SECURITY ANALYST: Well, Natalie, I don't think we'll ever be able to. If Iran indeed was behind this attack, they used proxies. Now, whether they were from Iraq or Yemen, it's hard to tell. That can't be determined from satellite photography, but they definitely would abuse proxies, and there will be no smoking gun against Iran.

And now, how the administration intends to frame this as something else. But we have to understand, Natalie, is an attack on Abqaiq is attack on the world's economy. And I do not see how the United States let this past. Because if you don't do something now and act, there will be more attacks, there will be more escalation.

I'm not advocating a war with Iran. It would be an absolute catastrophe. But right now, tonight I don't see an easy way out of this. ALLEN: Right. I just want to go back to the one part about Houthi rebels saying that it took ten drones. Would this be a first if this was a major attack carried out by drones and two oil facilities of this magnitude?

BAER: A concerted attack like this, yes, it's an absolute first. I mean, not even the United States uses that many drones when it attacks terrorist targets in Pakistan or Afghanistan. I mean, this is a high degree of coordination. And not only that, it's understanding the target. Because of Abqaiq, if you hit it in the right place, you can take that facility out for months, if not, a year, simply by releasing hydrogen sulfide, which poisons the equipment. It makes it -- you can't work on it for a very long time.

And the Saudis, by the way, Natalie, have not come out and explain what the damage is, which makes me worry.

ALLEN: Well, if it is Iran, in some way, behind this, which the United States says it is, we just hear Hassan Rouhani say, it's not, how might Saudi Arabia respond, and we even heard President Trump indicate he might as well -- as he said, the country is locked and loaded.

BAER: Well, Saudi Arabia is the worst position possible, because if there's a war between the United States and Iran, their entire -- all of the oil facilities go down. The Iranians have rockets in caves, solid fuel that can be pulled out and shot within minutes, and you cannot protect Saudi airspace. They know a war would essentially bring down the kingdoms. And that's why they're terrified at this point what's next.

ALLEN: Yes, that was my next question. And to what's next question, you know, this war in Yemen has been going on. You've got Iran pitted against Saudi Arabia. The United States is in there. Is this attack -- could this attack be a game changer for upping the ante of the violence that we've seen in this region?

BAER: I think I've never seen it this bad. And I worked in the CIA during the Iran-Iraq war. All these wars have been around. And I've never seen it this bad. I've never seen an oil facility in the Gulf attacked like this, even when the Kuwaiti fields were burned in 1991. It does not have the significance of the attack on Abqaiq. This is a game changer.

ALLEN: Former CIA operative Bob Baer, all right, we'll talk with you again, Bob, this as we learn more about it. Thank you, Bob.


BAER: Thank you.

ALLEN: Well, the attacks are having a major impact on global oil prices, and President Trump says he is doing something about it. He tweeted this. Based on the attack on Saudi Arabia, which may have an impact on oil prices, I have authorized the release of oil from the strategic petroleum reserve, if needed, and to be determined amount sufficient to keep the markets well supplied. That from President Trump.

Well, let's talk with our Andrew Stevens joining us now from Hong Kong. The big question is, how will markets react, Andrew?

ANDREW STEVENS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, we've seen the reaction first and foremost in the oil price, Natalie. The market has been trading for a few hours now. And the two key measures, which is Brent crude and West Texas intermediate, WTi, both of the prices, those showing, as you can see, there is sharp increase, as Brent Crude, which is sort of considered the benchmark, was actually up 20 percent at the open. And you see it's come off a bit around about 10 percent higher, West Texas intermediate then about 9 percent higher.

But these are still very, very big jumps, particularly it comes at a time when the global economy is already slowing, Natalie. This is a real kick for the global economy because energy prices are going to increase.

Now, what the Saudis have said, and what the reports are showing at this stage is, of the 5.7 million barrels per day, which was taken out of its 9.8 million barrels production capacity, so it lost 5.7, the reports are that that the Saudis may be able to get 2 million barrels a day back online by the end of this day, Monday.

But as your previous guest, as Bob just said, the Saudis haven't come out and said just what the damages at this stage. And this one in particular is a very, very important refinery. If that takes weeks to get up and running, that is going to have a long-term impact on the oil price, Natalie.

And that's what people are watching at the moment, how bad is this damage, how long is it going to take to get fixed, how long does that mean oil prices will stay at these elevated levels. And it's going to play out not just in oil prices but on stock markets as well.

I've already seen the Dow Jones futures. That's now down about 120 odd points, less than 1 percent. So it's not panic selloff in any way. But it does show the rising concerns that this is going to take some time to fix and it is going to have a material impact on the global economic growth.

ALLEN: Right. We're seeing the red arrows pointing down on those Dow futures, Nasdaq and S&P. So we'll all be watching to see when those markets do open here in just a few hours.

Andrew Stevens watching that angle of the story, very important, thanks so much, Andrew.

ALLEN: U.S. lawmakers have been weighing in on the Saudi oil attacks and there are mixed views on whether there should be any type of military response.


REP. ADAM SCHIFF (D-CA): I think it's safe to say that the Houthis don't have the capability to do a strike like this without Iranian assistance. So Iranian know how, Iranian technology, I think, was certainly involved. Whether the Iranians directly engaged in this or through the Houthi proxies has yet to be seen.

But I think it underscores just what we really, frankly, came to expect from this unending war in Yemen, that it would escalate tensions in the region, but also our withdrawal from the JCPOA has led Iran to engage --

MARGARET BRENNAN, CBS NEWS HOST: The nuclear deal with Iran.

SCHIFF: Exactly, has led Iran to engage in these escalatory tactics to drive us apart from our allies, but also to increase Iranian leverage to try to bring about an end to sanctions.

SEN. RAND PAUL (R-KY): I think an escalation of a war would be a big mistake. This all comes from the Yemeni civil war, where Saudi Arabia is heavily involved in another country indiscriminately bombing civilians, killing children, and then the Houthis are supported by the Iranians. So it's back and forth. But, really, the answer is trying to have a negotiated cease fire and peace in Yemen, and bombing Iran won't do that.

This is a regional conflict, but there's no reason the superpower of the United States needs to be getting in to bombing mainland Iran. It would be a needless escalation of this. And those who love the Iraq war, the Cheneys, the Boltons, the Kristols, they all are clambering and chomping at the bit for another war in Iran.


ALLEN: Well, next here, Israel's prime minister is fighting for his political life. We will look at whether his latest controversial plan will energize his base before Tuesday's election.

Plus, water cannons, tear gas, petrol bombs, violence flaring up again in Hong Kong, and it's taking a major toll on the city's economy.



PEDRAM JAVAHERI, CNN METEOROLOGIST: CNN Weather Watch time. I'm Meteorologist Pedram Javaheri. Quite a set up across much of the United States with the exception of the western region of the United States, where there is a high fire risk in place across the south western corner of the United States. Big time heat also in place, and, of course, the tail end of the summer season, which typically means the dry weather has persisted for months and the fire threat always begins to pick up in intensity.

Look at what's happening in the gulf. There is an area of disturbed weather bringing with it a few showers and thunderstorms along the gulf coast states.

Atlanta goes with sunny skies in the middle 30s, Miami also in the low to middle 30s, about 33 degrees there with some evening thunderstorms and there is a tropical system that could be potentially hurricane over the next few hours across the east coast of the U.S. But it has slated to move away from the east coast of the United States.

And with it, expect much, much cooler to try to filter in towards the latter portion of this week, Botson, middle 20s, down to middle teens at times, high as there about 17 degrees or so by late week. New York City drops off into the lower 20s before another rebound back up to 28 degrees in the tropics.

Again, there is the disturbance in the gulf, a low of probability of formation. Humberto sitting off the coast of Florida expected to skirt away from the United States.

This is the next big system we're watching carefully. And models suggest this storm will eventually work its way towards the Leeward Islands and potentially form as a tropical system. Of course, long- range models, we're going to be watching that carefully.


ALLEN: We are less than one day away from Israel's general election which we could see Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu win a record fifth term or lose his political dominance.

The latest opinion poll suggests a tight race between Mr. Netanyahu's Likud Party and former Israeli Military Chief of Staff Benny Gantz's Blue and White Party.

On Sunday, the prime minister announced plans to legalize another Jewish settlement on the West Bank, a move sure to energize his base. That announcement was made at a special cabinet meeting held in the Jordan Valley, which makes that part of the West Bank an area of Mr. Netanyahu promised to annex if he wins the election.


BENJAMIN NETANYAHU, ISRAELI PRIME MINISTER: We will apply the sovereignty immediately when the next government is formed, in the Knesset. I am proud to convene the special cabinet meeting in the Jordan Valley. It's not only the eastern gate of the State of Israel, it's the defense wall from the east since the Jordan Valley along with the territories that control it, which will be part of the State of Israel, assures that the Israeli army will be here forever.


ALLEN: The Organization of Islamic Cooperation, which includes 57 member states, rejects Mr. Netanyahu's annexation plans and says, it endangers the future of a two-state solution.



RIYAD AL-MALIKI, PALESTINIAN FOREIGN MINISTER: We must work collectively and united at all international levels. And with the international community to push them to shoulder their responsibilities and implement the international will represented in the criteria of a just and lasting solution in accordance with international law and relevant resolutions and the Arab peace initiative.


ALLEN: Let's talk more about the election with Gil Hoffman. He is the Chief Political Correspondent and Analyst with The Jerusalem Post. Thanks so much, Gil, for talking with us.

First, let's begin with the polls indicating this election is just about even. If they are correct, what does it say about the incumbent, Mr. Netanyahu, what has held him back?

GIL HOFFMAN, CHIEF POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT, THE JERUSALEM POST: What it shows is that Netanyahu is vulnerable politically, that after 13 years in office, there are a lot of Israelis who want an alternative after three criminal investigations. Israelis might want a leader who doesn't have these corruption charges hanging over his head and that perhaps Benny Gantz can provide a viable alternative. Really, anything can happen in this election and it's very exciting.

ALLEN: And Mr. Netanyahu, meantime, his campaign is pulling out all the stops. What about his plan to apply Israel's sovereignty overall the West Bank? And we're seeing him talk about that here.

HOFFMAN: I don't think Israelis take too seriously anything said about by a politician one week before the election. I can give you a long list of promises that he has made in the past, a week before an election that were never kept. And I think that that proposal is being taken much more seriously by the international community than by the voters that was meant (ph) to impact.

And I think what we'll really see after the election, regardless of who wins, is an attempt to implement the peace plan that Donald Trump is finally going to be unveiling. And he has been waiting to unveil them, and so after his (INAUDIBLE) sorts out its political problems. And this plan, we already know what the positives are for Israel, we're going to be finding out only after our elections are over is what Israel will have to play for the plan.

ALLEN: And what about Benny Gantz's counter? What has he been doing to counter and try to push ahead from Netanyahu?

HOFFMAN: If for the most parties running a rather clean campaign, he hasn't led Netanyahu, drag him down into mudslinging. He's trying to make himself look statesman-like and, I guess, what you call in America presidential. And it's going to be interesting to see because in this election is a preview of the election in the United States.

Donald Trump and Netanyahu have a lot of common. We've written about that a lot in The Jerusalem Post. And if Benny Gantz will succeed in this election, then what he has done will need to be studied by whoever the Democratic candidate is going to be as a test of how it would feed a Trump-like affair (ph). ALLEN: And there're also been questions about voter turnout, especially as it pertains to Arab-Israelis. What is expected?

HOFFMAN: We are going to see how it will turn out among Arab- Israelis. In the last election, the Arab-Israelis were frustrated because their own politicians were divided and fighting amongst themselves. And now, they have united. The leader of the Arab (INAUDIBLE) presented a possibility that they could join a government coalition in Israel for the first time, which could dramatically improve the welfare of Arab citizens of Israel, whereas the Jewish citizens are very frustrated with their leaders because we're going to an election for the second time in five months.

And they might have been gone to the beach if it's a very nice day over here in Israel. They see a Jewish turnout down, Arab turnout up, and that is something that have been putting Netanyahu's government to jeopardy.

ALLEN: And so after this, whoever prevails, what is the likelihood that a coalition government will be able to formed this time since it wasn't a few months ago?

HOFFLMAN: There are different possibilities. So last night, Netanyahu managed to get 60 seats from his loyal base on the right. He needed 61 to have a majority out of the 120 in parliament. He's aiming to get that 61 tomorrow. If he doesn't, then there would have to be some kind of immunity agreement or some politicians actually breaking promises that they may not sit with different politicians. You could have a minority coalition of Benny Gantz supported from outside by the Arab Party.

There are a lot of different possibilities, or you can end up even having what I have written about in The Jerusalem Post, which is that Gantz will get a chance to form a government, he'll fail, Netanyahu will get a chance to form a government, he'll fail. And then somebody else will (INAUDIBLE) have to have a snap election for leader of the party, just like they had in the conservative party in Britain that elected Boris Johnson and then Boris became the prime minister.

And whoever would become the leader of Likud or become prime minister in Israel, we might now have a prime minister until December. And then the political correspondents will continue to have a lot of work between on then.


ALLEN: You talked about the frustration of some voters. What is the overall feeling, if you can sum that up right now, the mood over yet another election and not knowing what it will produce for the people there?

HOFFMAN: The overall vote is sick and tired of politics. I think that the people watching this in Britain and the people watching this in America will understand that completely.

ALLEN: All right. Well, we'll be watching on Tuesday for sure. We really appreciate your insights. Thanks so much, Gil Hoffman with The Jerusalem Post. Thanks, Gil.

Well, watch our special coverage of the Israeli election beginning at 10 P.M. Tuesday Israeli Time as the polls close. That is 8:00 P.M. in London, 3:00 P.M. in New York. CNN's Beck Anderson anchors our coverage live from Jerusalem.

While votes are being counted in Tunisia's presidential race, the election was held early due to the death of President Beji Caid Essebsi back in July. Voters had to choose from a crowded field of 26 candidates. And if no one gets more than 50 percent of the vote, there will be a runoff. This is Tunisia's second free presidential election since the 2011 uprising, which led to the Arab Spring, the grassroots movement, which toppled autocratic leaders in North Africa and the Middle East.

Next here on CNN Newsroom, Why the United Kingdom's post-remain political party is now the party of revoke as the Brexit deadline looms, we will explain.



Welcome back to CNN Newsroom. I'm Natalie Allen. Here are our top stories.


U.S. President Donald Trump says the United States is, quote, "locked and loaded" after this weekend's attacks on Saudi oil sites. He tweeted the U.S. may know who the culprit is but still wants verification from the Saudis. U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo's blaming Iran, and the Iranian-backed Houthi militants in Yemen say they attacked the sites with drones. A U.S. official, though, says the angle of the strikes would have been difficult coming from Yemen.

The coordinated strikes in Saudi Arabia disrupted 5 percent of the daily global oil supply, and the effects can already be seen in trading. Prices are surging. The Brent crude up 9.90 percent. The WTI up 8.73.

In Israel, polls show the race is tight between Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's party and the former Israel military's chief, Benny Gantz's party. Mr. Netanyahu vows to annex parts of the West Bank if he wins reelection Tuesday. The move sparked international condemnation and threatens prospects for peace.

The storm Humberto continues to move away from the Bahamas and has now become a hurricane. It did graze the islands over the weekend as a tropical storm, but the damage was minimal. The area is still recovering from Hurricane Dorian.

Police in Hong Kong arrested several protesters, including a pro- democracy lawmaker, when new clashes broke out Sunday. Authorities fired water canon and tear gas to disperse the crowds after they gathered for an unauthorized march. As CNN's Ivan Watson reports, the unrest shows no signs of letting up.


IVAN WATSON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: This is the 15th straight weekend of confrontations and protests here in Hong Kong, and this is a very typical site here.

Large numbers of riot police deployed after demonstrators conducted a protest march, which had not been authorized by the police, through the downtown of Hong Kong island, and then it was followed up with scenes of demonstrators coursing through the streets, tear gas, water cannons. It's a scene that has has repeated itself week after week.

We witnessed on this evening a group of demonstrators beating a man quite badly on a street corner. We're not sure why he was targeted, but he left dazed and bloodied.

Now, the fact is, is that hundreds of people have been detained thus far, arrested, and this has taken a toll on the Hong Kong economy. Hotels have large numbers of vacancies. Airplane ticket sales are down. Retail sales are down, as well, and Hong Kong's reputation has taken a beating.

The Hong Kong government has taken some steps to try to meet some protestor demands. But at this stage, there seems to be no political settlement in sight. And as you can hear, many ordinary citizens now view the police as targets of derision. Police commanders have told CNN it will take years to recover from the damage that their reputation has suffered through this cycle of confrontation.

Ivan Watson, CNN, Hong Kong.


ALLEN: In the Democratic Republic of Congo, at least two people are dead, 30 people missing after a boat sank in the Congo River. No word yet. The calls of the shipwreck. The minister of social affairs says his country is ready to deliver help.


STEVE MBIKAYI, CONGO MINISTER OF SOCIAL AFFAIRS: I was informed this morning of a sinking not far from Maluku of a whaling ship that had about 102 people, of whom 60 survived, we will have to give the Red Cross the means to search for the bodies without life that we must recover and bury with dignity.


ALLEN: The minister added that some survivors are now in the neighboring Republic of Congo.

OK, let's talk some Brexit here. With the deadline fast approaching, Prime Minister Boris Johnson tells "The Mail" on Sunday the U.K. will still break out of the E.U., even if no deal is reached, just like the Incredible Hulk when he gets angry. Mr. Johnson said -- here's a quote -- "The madder Hulk gets, the

stronger Hulk gets, and he always escaped, no matter how tightly bound in he seemed to be. And, that is the case for this country. We will come out October 31st, and we will get it done. Believe me." That from Mr. Johnson.

In the coming hours, he'll meet with European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker. He'll reportedly ask for a revised Brexit deal. His interior minister told British media she has faith in Mr. Johnson's ability to land a deal.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Key question is whether Boris Johnson is going to get a deal with the E.U. now. In your heart, in your waters (ph), do you think it's going to happen?

PRITI PATEL, BRITISH INTERIOR MINISTER: Absolutely. The prime minister is fully committed to getting a deal, and I think if nothing else, Andrew, you, your viewers, I hope the whole country has heard, certainly through what we've seen in Parliament over the last few weeks, that sheer commitment and determination to ensure that, A, we leave on October the 31st, and also that the entire machinery of government now is focused on getting that deal, and it's planning and preparing to leave on October 31.


ALLEN: The prime minister's political opponents have a different take on Sunday. The Liberal Democrats approved a motion to cancel Brexit if they come to power at the next general election. Stay tuned.

All right. After Hurricane Dorian ripped through the Bahamas, the islands have avoided a second natural disaster this month. We'll find out where the storm, a hurricane, is headed next.


ALLEN: We have this just into CNN. Purdue Pharma, the company at the center of the U.S. opioid crisis has filed for bankruptcy. It is a move that's long been expected as the company faces more than 2,000 lawsuits, alleging it aggressively marketed prescription pain killers while misleading doctors and patients about the risks of addiction and overdose.

Lawsuits came from almost every U.S. state seeking billions in damages. Purdue reached a tentative deal to resolve the suits, but many states remain opposed to the settlement.

The storm Humberto over the Atlantic has now turned into a hurricane. It is close to the Bahamas right now, but it is slowly moving away. Over the weekend, the storm did graze some areas still recovering from Hurricane Dorian. As Dianne Gallagher reports, its presence was enough to trigger painful memories. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SITHA SILIEN, HURRICANE DORIAN EVACUEE: Like seriously, I have to go back to this?

DIANNE GALLAGHER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Tracking another storm, heading to Abaco was too much for Sitha Silien to handle.

SILIEN: Like, no, I don't want to hear nothing even but rain.

GALLAGHER: Her home, along with almost everything else in the mostly Haitian shanty town called the Mud, is gone. But two weeks later, the lingering effects of surviving a Category 5 hurricane remain.

Everyday sounds of Nassau trigger terrifying memories.

SILIEN: I jump up. I thought it was a storm inside. When I come to the door, it was nothing. It was like, what happened? And I asked him if it was a hurricane outside, and he said no, when he looked, he said that's the airplane. And I said, well, Jesus Christ.


GALLAGHER: Waiting to transfer to her third shelter in ten days, her only focus is finding and burying the bodies of her mother and brother who both died in her arms during the storm.

SILIEN: I lifted my brother -- and lifted him, literally, lifted him with my hands, and the other friends bring him by the road. But they said they find somebody. They don't find somebody. I know my mummy and my brother there.

The Bahamas' official death toll has sat at 50 for nearly a week. Sita says that number does not include her mother, brother or a cousin, though she claims to have given the government identifying information about all three. And while she is grateful for the way the shelters have treated her, Sita does not want to stay in Nassau, a city that she and many other evacuees of Haitian descent describe as unwelcoming.

AGNES PIERRE, HURRICANE DORIAN EVACUEE: Somehow, you will protect us, but we were surrounded by water.

GALLAGHER: Odiles and Agnes Pierre escaped from Abaco with their four children. They are now staying with a friend of his boss and trying to get out of Nassau.

PIERRE: We don't want to live in Nassau, because living there in threatened house. A few people said in a video and (UNINTELLIGIBLE) said they should kill all Haitians, because we's the ones that caused the hurricane to stray to Abaco.

GALLAGHER: In the days after Dorian hit, posts slandering Haitians went viral in local WhatsApp groups, cheering the destruction of their communities, death threats and claims that the hurricane was a punishment for a belief in voodoo. PIERRE: Because I don't want to get killed. And because I've been

through so much, because we survived from it. Now I don't want to come here and just die.

GALLAGHER (on camera): Just because you're --

PIERRE: Because they blame us for the hurricane that happened.

GALLAGHER (voice-over): When talking to us, many Bahamians repeatedly referred to the Haitians as illegal, explaining there are deep-seated tensions between them. The government officials have said multiple times that all Dorian victims will be treated equally when it comes to disaster relief. The Pierre family doesn't trust that promise.

ODILES PIERRE, HURRICANE DORIAN EVACUEE: I would like for us, if we could get to the States for a week until the island were coming back. So at least the kids, they could go to school.

A. PIERRE: To school and feel comfortable.

GALLAGHER: But now, with no job and important documents lost in the storm, the chances of getting a U.S. visa quickly are slim, leaving these storms survivors to fear the worst may not be behind them.

In Nassau, the Bahamas, Dianne Gallagher, CNN.


ALLEN: Ric Ocasek of the Cars died Sunday at the age of 75.



ALLEN: The musical group was enormously popular in the Seventies and Eighties. The band was part of the new wave, with hits like "My Best Friend's Girl" and "Drive." Ocasek cofounded the group and was the main songwriter and lead vocal on most of the Cars songs.

The band was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame last year.

Think you for watching CNN NEWSROOM. I'm Natalie Allen. WORLD SPORT is next. I'll be back with another hour of news from around the world, in 15 minutes. I'll see you then.