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Justin Trudeau Apologizes for Third Example of Him Wearing Blackface; Saudi-Led Coalition Launches New Strikes on Yemen; U.S. Drone Strike; Whistleblower Complaint About President Trump Involves Ukraine; Rugby World Cup Kicks Off in Japan; Protests And Events Planned Around The Globe; Hundreds Of Water Rescues In Flash Flood Emergency; U.K. Supreme Court To Give Ruling Early Next Week; Gantz Declares Victory In Israel Despite Deadlock. Aired 2-3a ET
Aired September 20, 2019 - 02:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
NATALIE ALLEN, CNN ANCHOR: Trouble for Trudeau. A third racist image surfaces, showing the Canadian prime minister in blackface.
All-out war. The Iranian foreign minister gives a warning to the United States if the U.S. strikes his country.
And a global strike. Thousands of people around the world taking to the streets for what could be the biggest day for climate demonstrations in the planet's history.
Hello, everyone. Welcome to our viewers joining us from all around the world. I'm Natalie Allen, and this is "CNN Newsroom."
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's reputation as a champion for social justice is in question after more new images have surfaced of him wearing blackface years ago. He has now apologized twice in two days as the political controversy rocks his reelection campaign.
The latest incident is shown in video from the early 1990s, and all three incidents have been revealed. Mr. Trudeau says he cannot recall if there are more. CNN's Randi Kaye has our story.
RANDI KAYE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): A young Justin Trudeau, the future Canadian prime minister, in new video obtained exclusively by Global News. It's from the early 1990s. And while unclear where it was shot, you can see Trudeau wearing blackface, laughing with his tongue out and his hands in the air. It appears his arms and legs are covered in blackface as well. Trudeau apologized for it all at a press conference late today.
JUSTIN TRUDEAU, PRIME MINISTER OF CANADA: It was a blackface and that is just not right.
KAYE (voice-over): That was Trudeau's second apology in less than 24 hours, now having to answer for not one but three instances of wearing blackface, dating back decades. The first was reported by Time magazine Wednesday evening. The picture shows Trudeau at a party at a private school where he worked as a teacher. The theme of the party was "Arabian Nights."
In this photo from the school's 2000, 2001 yearbook, Trudeau is covered in blackface, His neck and hands are also darkened. Trudeau issued an apology late Wednesday.
TRUDEAU: It was a dump thing to do. I'm disappointed at myself. I'm pissed off at myself for having done it.
KAYE (voice-over): Trudeau, who was nearly 30 when the photo was taken, was asked if he thought it was racist.
TRUDEAU: Yes, I did not consider it a racist action at the time, but now we know better.
KAYE (on camera): Along with that apology, Trudeau mentioned another photo, one in which he admitted he wore blackface in a high school talent show. At the time, the photo had not been shared publicly. But within hours, CTV posted it. The network's reporter tweet the exclusive.
(Voice-over): Sources have confirmed this is the picture of Justin Trudeau in blackface from high school that he referenced in his press conference. He is singing "Day Oh" apparently. In the photo, it is clear Trudeau is wearing blackface and an Afro wig.
TRUDEAU: What I did hurt them. Hurt people who shouldn't have to face intolerance and discrimination because of their identity. This is something that I deeply, deeply regret.
KAYE (voice-over): All of this happening just days after Justin Trudeau announced his reelection campaign. Meanwhile, the apology tour continues.
TRUDEAU: I've had to reflect on the fact that wanting to do good and wanting to do better simply isn't good enough. This was a terrible mistake.
KAYE (voice-over): Randi Kaye, CNN, New York.
ALLEN: Let's talk more about this with Laura Mae Lindo. She is a member of the new Democratic Party in Ontario's provincial legislature. She joins us from Kitchener, Ontario. Laura Mae, thanks so much for talking with us.
LAURA MAE LINDO, CANADIAN POLITICIAN: Thanks for having me.
ALLEN: This is quite an issue for the prime minister. He said he takes responsibility. We've heard his explanations. He shouldn't have done it. He didn't think it was racist at the time. What do you think about his explanation?
LINDO: Sadly, I think they were asking the wrong questions, and he has an opportunity to actually leads the discussion toward the focus should be and does not seem ready or able at this point to move it there. So, a lot of the apologies and discussions from Mr. Trudeau have focused on Mr. Trudeau. He's embarrassed that's why he didn't tell anybody.
LINDO: He didn't let any -- typically, if you know that something has come up in the past, that could pose a problem in the future, you will tell your communications team so they can prepare, too embarrassed to do that.
But the reality is that the focus should be on the folks that are impacted, the communities that trusted the prime minister to be there for him, and especially the time where he had professed to be the person that we could trust.
ALLEN: Let's talk about that. Yes, he has cultivated an image of someone who is there, as someone who is inclusive. He has accepted in Syrian refugees when other countries have not. He has been advocate to fight racism. Many are questioning, is he authentic? Was this something -- do you accept that, him saying, this was in the past, it's not right today? Do you think he is a true fighter against racism?
LINDO: It is difficult to know exactly where he stands because of the nature of how this entire story has sort of unfolded. But what we do know for sure is that there is a very clear -- somewhat traumatic, I would have to say, impact on communities that trusted him.
Knowing that, my job especially as a sitting member of provincial parliament, is to be there for those folks. You know, during an election, you might be caught up in you party platform but once elected, you're working for all of the people. You're serving, in my case, the entire province, the folks in my particular riding, Kitchener Centre, and in his case with the, you know, sitting at the helm of the nation, he is serving everybody.
And so the focus is on diversity and diversity being our strength. The focus when we do make a mistake should be on what is now happening and how are folks feeling, included in the space, and what I am hearing on the ground is that they are not.
ALLEN: You are in a national election and he is running for reelection.
LINDO: That is right.
ALLEN: What is the feeling there about how this is going to affect him and his future and his campaign?
LINDO: Well, it is interesting. A lot of people have said that for one of the first times in the Canadian history, race is on the agenda during a federal election, which is interesting. When I think about watching elections in the U.S., race is often on the agenda.
In Canada, there's always this assumption that racism doesn't happen here and so we don't have to talk about this and election isn't the time to talk about it. But right now, again, if I can try and remain as optimistic as possible or for the sake of my sanity, it is important to know that there is a possibility of us actually talking about what racism looks like in the Canadian system.
So, it is not so much to think about whether or not the prime minister is authentic in his apology, but more importantly, is he going to do the hard work? Is he going to make sure that there is an employment equity strategy for the nation that actually has chief behind it so that we don't see racism in employment? Is there going to be a national strategy around housing for racialized folks?
Are we going to address the overrepresentation of black, brown and indigenous people in -- that are incarcerated across the nation even if we are a small part of the population?
ALLEN: Right. So you're saying --
LINDO: Those are federal issues.
ALLEN: Let's address the issues and see how he handles it during this tumultuous time for him as a person, no doubt, and as prime minister. We appreciate your insights and your feelings to this. Laura Mae Lindo, thanks so much.
LINDO: Thank you.
ALLEN: We turn now to the war in Yemen where the Saudi-led coalition has announced a new military operation. It is warning civilians to avoid targeted sites for their own safety. This comes less than one week after airstrikes wiped out half of Saudi Arabia's oil production.
The U.S. continues to blame Iran but Houthi rebels and Yemen claim they are behind it. Iran's foreign minister, Javad Zarif, had a stark warning for the U.S. and Saudi Arabia.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
NICK PATON WALSH, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: What would be the consequence of an American or Saudi military strike on Iran now?
JAVAD ZARIF, FOREIGN MINISTER OF IRAN: An all-out war.
PATON WALSH: You make a very serious statement, miniter.
ZARIF: Well, I make a very serious statement about defending our country. I am making a very serious statement that we don't want war but we won't blink to defend our territory.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ALLEN: Those comments there are coming during a wide ranging and exclusive interview by CNN's Nick Paton Walsh.
ALLEN: Iran's foreign minister had much more to say about Donald Trump and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PATON WALSH: Where does this weekend -- you are in an extreme crisis now. Where do you think it ends? Do you think you will see military confrontation this week or do you think this is not what the Trump administration wants?
ZARIF: I don't think this is -- I don't think this is what President Trump wants. This is certainly not what we want. And this is not the prudent course of action.
PATON WALSH: Do you think it will be possible for the United States to prove that missiles were launched from Iranian territory?
ZARIF: Well, that will be a miracle because they were not.
PATON WALSH: Mike Pompeo has been at the forefront of the allegations against Iran very early on and perhaps when some Iranian officials thought the departure of John Bolton meant that the Trump administration was losing its main Iraq -- Iran hawk, Mike Pompeo very quickly accuses you of directly attacking Saudi Arabia.
Do you think that he is now the Trump administration's chief Iran hawk? I think, for a while, perhaps you described him as someone maybe it was even possible to even talk to.
ZARIF: Well, I never talk about personalities, but I think Senator Sanders is very right in advising Secretary Pompeo that his job is to advance diplomacy, not to advance war. Others can do that.
PATON WALSH: But it seems as though much of policy towards Iran is now, with the departure of John Bolton, set by Donald Trump himself. He's referred himself as a very stable genius. Would you agree with that assessment?
ZARIF: Well, that's not for me to decide.
PATON WALSH: Well, he is your main interlocutor, it seems.
ZARIF: Well, we are not talking --
PATON WALSH: Is he a very stable genius?
ZARIF: Well, I don't know. I haven't talked to him. I haven't met him in person. So, I should take his word for it.
PATON WALSH: So, you refer often to the B-team. That is John Bolton, who has now left his job, Benjamin Netanyahu, the prime minister of Israel, who is on pretty rocky territory right now, and Mohammed bin Salman, the crown prince of Saudi Arabia. Only one of those is still secure in his job, Mohammed bin Salman. Do you fear him militarily?
PATON WALSH: Why not?
ZARIF: Because we have been able to stand against an Iraqi army that was supported not just by Saudi Arabia -- they paid $75 billion to Saddam Hussein to kill Iranians -- but also supported by every country in the world.
PATON WALSH: You have been personally sanctioned by the United States directly as an individual. But you also have a long history, educated in the United States, presumably some part of your life and affection for the culture there. What will you miss about America?
ZARIF: Well, I haven't been able to see anything in America for the past many years now. Very few things that I miss, and what I miss is rationality. What I miss is prudence. I think the United States deserves to be more rational.
PATON WALSH: Just six months ago, you resigned from your job here in Tehran and it seemed to be over a misunderstanding about a meeting. Why did you come back to it? What convinced you to return to that role?
ZARIF: I resigned because I did not think at the time that with that impression, that I was not part of the decision-making, I would be able to do my job as foreign minister. It wasn't any personal grudge or personal grievance. It was a problem with the performance of my job. Then it was publicly assured that I was still in charge of foreign policy. Then I thought I would be able to do my job properly. That is why I returned.
PATON WALSH: But it goes to the heart, does it not, of what many people see as the two sides of Iran's government personality. There are the hardliners who feel they want to extend influence and Iran's position in the region. And then there are the Western educated, at times, diplomats who think maybe we can soften our approach to the outside world. Was that an uncomfortable moment for you to be put in that position?
ZARIF: Well, Iran is not a monolith. We have different views in the country. You see those views expressed openly in the public, and that's what you call in the West, democracy.
PATON WALSH: You like to speak on Twitter a lot. It's one of your favorite means of communication along with President Trump, you share that certainly. But it's very hard for people in Iran to read Twitter. Do you sometimes regret that? That there are restrictions in what people can hear in this country?
ZARIF: Well, I don't think there are restrictions on what people can hear in this country. People in this country hear everything they want to hear. But I certainly do not agree with the policy of filtering Twitter or any social media because I believe at the end of the day people get their hand chopped. But again, as I said, the differences of views in Iran --
ALLEN: Zarif also says Iran will not hold negotiations with the United States as long as economic sanctions are still in place.
In Saturday's attack on Saudi Arabia, relatively inexpensive drones and cruise missiles managed to get past complex and costly radar and air defenses. The strikes took out a significant chunk of the world's oil production. As our Nic Robertson reports, that has some military experts worried.
NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR (voice-over): Smoke rises from the world's largest oil processing plant in Abqaiq. Radar and air defenses cost of billions breached, makes drones and cruise missiles worth barely a million, a wakeup call and not just for the Saudis.
JUSTIN BRONK, RESEARCH FELLOW, ROYAL UNITED SERVICES INSTITUTE: The small drones, this is an illustration of how difficult it is for countries even with large budgets that invest in these high-end capabilities to defend against low, slow flying targets.
ROBERTSON (voice-over): Saudi Arabia has dealt with frequent attacks from Yemen by ballistic missiles.
TURKI AL-MALKI, LIEUTENANT COLONEL, SAUDI DEFENSE MINISTRY SPOKESMAN: We are (INAUDIBLE) a lot of air defense. Our air defense had been intercepted, until now, almost 252 ballistic missiles.
ROBERTSON (voice-over): But a swarm of drones and cruise missiles was enough to take out five percent of the world's oil production. Put another way, low, slow and small can be lethal. This is the missile that is thought to have done most of the damage, the Quds-1, based on a Soviet designed for the 1970s.
The Houthi rebels in Yemen unveiled it in July, but it doesn't have the range to hit Eastern Saudi Arabia from Houthi-held areas. Satellite image shows the Saudis have some of their defenses near the target such as Patriot anti-missile systems. But most of their defenses are oriented towards Yemen and the Gulf, while the attacks appeared to have come from the north.
The Saudis also have short-range defenses around critical infrastructure, but they are designed to take out aircraft, not drones or cruise missiles flying at low attitude.
BRONK: The Saudis have so many potential targets to defend, large refineries like this one, pumping stations along pipelines, air bases, airports, major cities, ports, army bases. They can't possibly defend everything perfectly. ROBERTSON (on camera): Arms control experts tell us the Iranians have studied Saudi defences and have missiles that have the range and power both to evade detection and pack a powerful punch when they reached their target. Combining that with drones is cheap and effective.
(Voice-over): It is a global problem. ISIS began using drones during the battle for Mosul. Last year, rebels in Syria sent swarms of drones against a Russian airbase.
BRONK: The world militaries (ph) have woken up, generally speaking, to the threat posed by swarming ammunitions and drones. The problem is they haven't yet come up with an ideal answer to that problem.
ROBERTSON (voice-over): The United States Army has responded to the threat by deploying more Stinger missiles with its ground troops. But many experts say that Israel's Iron Dome is probably the most effective defense against the sorts of weapons used in Saturday's attack. But the Israelis are unlikely to sell such precious technology to an Arab state.
Nic Robertson, CNN, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
ALLEN: In Afghanistan, a U.S. drone strike may have hit civilians. A local official says 16 people were killed, many of them workers who have come to collect fruit at a farm. The United States says members of ISIS were among those targeted in the strike.
We are learning more about that whistleblower complaint which the inspector general of the U.S. Intelligence Community deemed both credible and urgent. And the White House is trying to keep it under wraps.
The Washington Post and New York Times report the complaint about President Trump's communications with the foreign leader involves Ukraine. The Post had earlier reported the president made a promise which sparked that complaint. That as the inspector general appeared behind closed doors before the House Intelligence Committee and suggested the whistleblower had concerns about multiple actions.
Alex Marquardt has our story.
ALEX MARQUARDT, CNN SENIOR U.S. CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Tonight, a deadlock over an unseen, potentially explosive complaint by a member of the Intelligence Community about the president. It is being blocked from Congress.
Sources are telling CNN that the White House and the Department of Justice told the Office of the Director of National Intelligence that the whistleblower's complaint was not theirs to release, arguing it is not an intelligence matter because it involves the executive branch, as in the president. [02:20:05]
MARQUARDT (voice-over): CNN has learned there were multiple acts that concerned the whistleblower that amounted to enough of a blockbuster claim that the Intelligence Community and inspector general felt forced to go himself to Congress, giving closed door testimony today.
REP. ADAM SCHIFF (D-CA): We can't get an answer because the Department of Justice and the director of National Intelligence will not authorize the IG to tell us. The inspector general is doing his very best to be very careful that he followed the law.
MARQUARDT (voice-over): In a letter to the House Intelligence Committee, the inspect general writes that the complaint "not only falls within the DNI's jurisdiction, but relates to one of the most
significant and important of the DNI's responsibilities to the American people."
Today, when the IG spoke to the House Intelligence Committee, he didn't provide any details about the whistleblower's complaint. (INAUDIBLE), the chairman said, by someone trying to manipulate the system.
SCHIFF: That whole purpose is being frustrated here because the director of National Intelligence has made the unprecedented decision not to share the complaint with Congress.
MARQUARDT (voice-over): The lawyer for acting director of National Intelligence, Joseph Maguire, argues "the complaint here involves confidential and potentially privileged matters relating to the interest of other stakeholders within the executive branch."
The whistleblower alleges that in communications between a foreign leader and President Trump, Trump, according to The Washington Post, had made that leader a promise. What he allegedly promised is unknown as is who the foreign leader was. The complaint was filed on August 12th, just days before then Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats as well as his deputy Sue Gordon, were pushed out by the president on August 15th.
It was also after the president had communicated with other world leaders in the previous weeks, including the president of Ukraine, prime minister of Israel, dictator of North Korea, the emir of Qatar, and the president of Russia, Vladimir Putin.
(On camera): Acting DNI Joseph Maguire is really walking a tight rope here. On the one hand, he has got a complaint from someone in his own intelligence community. On the other, it is about his boss, the president.
Maguire had refused to appear on Thursday in front of the House Intelligence Committee. But he is now due to testify to both the House and Senate Intel committees next week.
Alex Marquardt, CNN, Washington. (END VIDEOTAPE)
ALLEN: Japan is all set to host its first ever Rugby World Cup. We will go live to Tokyo in a moment with the look at the favorites and the festivities right after this. Also, young people go on strike worldwide with a message for the grownups in power.
ALLEN: Excitement is certainly building in Japan where we are just a few hours away from the first match of the 2019 Rugby World Cup. And our CNN World Sport anchor Alex Thomas is there, covering it for us. He is live for us right now in Tokyo. Hello to you, Alex. This is the first time this World Cup has been held in this region. I would imagine people are pretty excited about it. What can you tell us?
ALEX THOMAS, CNN WORLD SPORT ANCHOR: Yeah, it's been held in the Rugby powerhouses, the British nations, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, so a real pioneering move to take this tournament to Asia for the first time.
Japan is the most Rugby passionate of those Asian nations, the obvious choice, one of the only two nations to have played in every Rugby World Cup since this tournament started back in 1987. I like to tell you, Natalie, the gate is open about an hour ago, more than five hours away from kick off in this opening game between Japan and Russia.
There are already hundreds of fans, queuing in there, red and white stripe Japanese kit (ph). Many of them are meeting but don't know much about the sport of Ruby but are here to experience the occasion, hugely proud, to welcome the 20 teams from every continent on the planet here for this match over the next six weeks or so.
If we take a look at Japan's record in this Rugby World Cup, we can see how far they have come after that debut in '87, the first win against Zimbabwe in 1991, then suffered a record loss against New Zealand in 1995, conceding 145 points in the single game, absolutely astonishing.
But four years ago, they won three of the four games including a victory against South Africa who were two-time former world champion. So that showed how much progress they have made. The then coach, Eddie Jones, he is now in charge of England. They've got a new coach in Jamie Joseph.
For this one, hopes are high they can get out of their pool. I'm experiencing the atmosphere here in Tokyo for the last few days and the early signs are good about this groundbreaking Rugby World Cup.
(Voice-over): Rain or shine, Japan sees plenty of international visitors especially here at Tokyo's renowned Tsutaya Crossing (ph) for the Rugby World Cup will be the biggest global sporting event since the FIBA World Cup 17 years ago. Every continent on the planet will be represented as 20 nations bid for glory with 48 matches in 44 days across 12 cities.
(On camera): Fears that the Rugby World Cup may be overshadowed by next year's Tokyo Olympics appear to be misplaced. Teams have been enthusiastically greeted. Millions of tickets have been sold and more than half a million overseas spectators are expected to.
This is the first Asian Rugby World Cup. So a successful tournament is crucial to growing of the sport across the region, not just here in Japan where at least trying to gain ground, but more popular sports like baseball, sumo, and soccer.
The ninth Rugby World Cup kicks off here at the Tokyo Stadium and just over six weeks later will have a champion. Only four countries have lifted the Webb Ellis trophy before, with New Zealand's famous all blacks going for a third successive victory.
New Zealand, again, they're the bookmakers' favorites. Many experts say this is the most open Rugby World Cup we perhaps ever seen. What will make this tournament successful? What will inspire even more Rugby players in this country and across the region, though, is the atmosphere. They have done a good job so far. Take a look at this video of Japanese school kids who love the Haka and then did it to the New Zealand team.
That's the (INAUDIBLE) war dance that the New Zealand team do ahead of every single match, probably as famous as their exploits (ph) on the Rugby field. It is all adding up to promising signs. It is too early to say how great this tournament will be yet, Natalie, but we wait with eager anticipation for the opening ceremony in a few hours' time.
ALLEN: All right. Adorable kids. We always appreciate that from the New Zealand team. We will be seeing them as well when they take to the field. Thanks so much, Alex. We really appreciate it.
ALLEN: All right, next here, young people around the world are going on strike in an all-out effort to save their home, the planet Earth. They have a message for the adults.
ALLEN: Welcome back. You're watching CNN NEWSROOM. I'm Natalie Allen. Let's update you and our top news this hour. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says he is unsure how many times he's worn blackface in his past. He apologized again Thursday after a video surfaced showing a third instance of him in racist makeup. Trudeau says he shouldn't have done it, and his layers of privilege gave him a blind spot on the issue.
In an exclusive CNN interview, Iran's Foreign Minister vows all-out war if the U.S. and Saudi Arabia launches a military strike on his country. The U.S. blames Iran for Saturday's airstrikes which wiped out half of Saudi Arabia's oil production. Iran denies any involvement. The Inspector General of the U.S. intelligence community testified
behind closed doors Friday and suggested the whistleblower complaint he deemed credible and urgent, was based on multiple actions. There are reports the complaint revolves around the promise made by President Trump to a foreign leader and involves Ukraine.
Well, from one end of planet Earth to another, young people are going to walk out of schools or their workplace for the sake of the planet we all call home. They are demanding action on the global climate crisis. Organizers want to tell politicians, business as usual is no longer an option, saying the climate crisis won't wait, so neither will we. These are just a few of the locations where rallies are planned. At last count, there are close to 5,000 events and some 140 countries, more are planned for next Friday, as well. One city seeing climate protests, Hong Kong, our Will Ripley was just there.
WILL RIPLEY, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Climate change is not an issue that tends to draw large crowds here in Hong Kong, certainly not the size crowds that we've seen throughout much of the summer, people out protesting against the government and in favor of democracy. But what we are seeing here is a small group of people who are joining much larger protests around the region. Tens of thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of people out across Australia, also protests in the South Pacific, and here, these protesters sharing the same message that the world is in danger, that humans are in danger of extinction if governments don't make drastic changes now, especially in terms of energy and how it's generated and how it's consumed.
These protesters say they're out here to raise awareness, joining a global movement the day beginning here in Asia and expected to spread around the world. Will Ripley, CNN, Hong Kong.
ALLEN: Well, so far, the largest protest is coming from Sydney, Australia. And we're going to talk with someone taking part, Clara Williams Roldan is in the crowd. She's one of the protests, and she's joining me now. Clara, hello to you. I want to talk about your involvement in this climate strike. I believe you're in your mid-20s. Tell us why you decided to join in today.
CLARA WILLIAMS ROLDAN, CLIMATE CHANGE PROTESTER: Hi, thanks for having me. I felt like it was my responsibility as a young person for my own future and for the future of the next generation coming through to be there, to stand up and be counted in demanding on justice for our future.
ALLEN: Well, we're looking at the crowd right now in Sydney. How did it feel to be a part of this? And do you feel like the crowd was moved and motivated by the speakers and what went on?
ROLDAN: Oh, completely. It was incredible to be in the middle of that crowd. It's one of the biggest marches I've seen in many years in Sydney. I think numbers are estimated between 50 to 80,000, at the moment, and they're only just starting to come through now. You could really feel a massive sense of hope in that crowd. There are so many young people there who was so passionate, and they were really standing up for what they believe in, so it was just a really powerful thing to part of.
ALLEN: And how much credit do you give to Greta Thunberg strike against her school, which led to this call for a global strike? This is one girl demanding action, and she has seemed to galvanize a movement where no one's really been able to do this before?
ROLDAN: Look, I think it's incredible. And I think it is maybe down to her just being one person willing to stand up for what they believe in. It seems like it's unlocked permission for all these young people who were so frustrated and didn't really know what to do to actually say, No, I'm not going to follow the rules anymore. I'm not going to go to school while you're not doing your job in government. I'm going to go out there and I'm going to demand action because this is my future.
ALLEN: How long have you been like actively concerned about climate change? Is it something that's been on the periphery, or something that's bothered you for a while, or is this new for you?
ROLDAN: I mean, I grew up in a bit of an environmental family. So, I think it's definitely been on my radar for a long time. But I feel like it's become quite acute in the past, probably five years, as we increasingly, in Australia, see hotter and hotter summers, longer and longer bush fire seasons, and they really stark changes to our landscape and our weather. It's possible to ignore the real effects that are happening in my lifetime, so it feels very urgent to me at the moment. And I suppose that's what really galvanized me to get out there and get involved in the past few years.
ALLEN: Right. So the big question, Clara, is this, can this movement by young people around the world is going to take a lot of numbers be stronger than the movement to keep bringing and using fossil fuels?
ROLDAN: Look, I hope so. I think it's already starting to change the culture around me. And I think, you know, politicians will have to speak up and listen, because I feel a whole lot of 15-year-olds in that crowd who are going to be able to vote here in Australia in the next three years when we have another federal election. So, if they don't start changing, I think there will be some losses at the ballot box.
ALLEN: All right, we appreciate you talking with us, Clara Williams Roldan, one of the people right there in that crowd there in Sydney. And many more of these strikes will be happening around the world. Thank you, Clara.
ROLDAN: Thank you.
ALLEN: Well, in Southeast Texas, a flash flood emergency was declared when torrential rains swamped parts of Houston, turning streets into rivers. There had been hundreds of rescues, hundreds of cars, trucks, as you can see, abandoned right there. More than 75 centimeters or 30 inches of rain fell. One spot got over a meter. The high water trapped people inside homes and inside their cars. One man was pulled from a submerged van, it sank when he drove into water that was 2-1/2 meters deep. Sadly, he died as he was taken to the hospital.
Across the region, desperate evacuees are in shelters. Authorities say they've responded to hundreds of calls for help more than 350 rescue so far. The flooding disrupted flights at the international airport. Arrivals are expected to resume in just a few hours. Let's bring in our meteorologist Derek Van Dam from the International Weather Center. You know, this must have come up so quickly if people were already out driving or -- and got stuck, Derek. Tell us more about it.
DEREK VAN DAM, CNN INTERNATIONAL METEOROLOGIST: Yes, it's terrifying. You know, just like each hurricane is different, each flood event is also different. But the scenes that have unfolded in Houston and Southeast Texas over the past 24 hours, brings back these troubling memories of Hurricane Harvey back in 2017. I was located just in this very location. This is the Buffalo Bayou, just outside of the city center of Houston. Look at the flooding going on, the truck vehicles, people trying to traverse the roadways. Of course, rule number one when you come across a flooded road, turn around, don't drown. That's one of the National Weather Service's slogans.
They talk about it so much. Why in the world does Houston flood so frequently? Not only do they have the abundance of tropical moisture coming from the Gulf of Mexico, but they have seen a huge -- I mean, massive population growth over the past 50 years. Look at this satellite image. This is going back into the 50s and 60s. Look at the expanse over the past 50 years or so. We have seen a growth from this city of 650 percent since 1950s. So, with that, comes more pavement, more concrete, and the inability for the ground to soak up the water. So, where does it go? It floods. It starts to rise in an already low lying city center with more concrete. That's just a recipe for disaster, especially when you get rainfall totals like this.
Look at that. That's incredible, over 1,000 millimeters of rain since the beginning of the week. Houston Metro officially getting just over 400 millimeters. Look, that's a lot of rain for any location in a short period of time. It's going to flood most cities, but Houston is especially vulnerable. Now, the culprit is this remnants of what was a tropical storm, Imelda. The good news is that the bulk of the heaviest of rainfall moving away from Houston, we're going to start focusing our attention on the northeast and sections of Texas right near the border of Louisiana and Arkansas. That's where the two day rainfall totals will be highest. But nonetheless, we still have a significantly saturated environment across that area. So, flash flooding and flash flood warnings still ongoing for Houston and the Houston Metro.
Hey, to the other side of North America, this is Southwestern Mexico. And we're monitoring Tropical Storm Lorena. This is about to just slam Cabo San Lucas with a Category 1 hurricane. Let me take you to this region and show you what it looks like across Southwest Mexico. They're also dealing with their own tropical flooding. Not what you'd like to see, especially in a popular tourist destination like that. Back to you, Natalie.
ALLEN: Yes. My sister is there on vacation, so maybe I should give her a call.
VAN DAM: There you go.
ALLEN: All right, Derek, thank you.
Well, Britain's top court is set to rule on whether the country's Prime Minister deliberately misled the Queen. Just when you thought Brexit couldn't get more dramatic, well, it just did, that's next. Plus, a fishing dispute in the Sea of Japan could put a damper on Kim Jong-un's relationship with Vladimir Putin. We'll explain ahead.
ALLEN: Britain's highest court is expected to give a ruling next week on whether the prime minister's advice to the queen about suspending Parliament was illegal.
The Supreme Court has adjourned after hearing arguments for the past three days. CNN's Matthew Chance explains this new twist in the Brexit crisis.
MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: It's the latest flashpoint in Britain's agonizing Brexit. The country's highest court being drag into battle.
More protesters bay at the doors. The real fight over a five-week government suspension or prorogation of parliament rages inside.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: -- ongoing and issues around the approach to be taken --
CHANCE: Though his -- for critics of the government argue it was an undemocratic and illegal move.
DAVID PANNICK, BARRISTER FOR PLAINTIFF GINA MILLER: The prime minister's motive was to silence Parliament for that period because he sees Parliament as an obstacle to the furtherance of his political aims.
CHANCE: Not true, says the government. But even if it was, it's a matter of political judgment, not law, say the government's lawyers.
JAMES EADIE, LAWYER OF BRITISH GOVERNMENT: We are dealing with a prerogative power. It's a prerogative power that has been expressly preserved by Parliament.
CHANCE: Lower British courts have already issued conflicting rulings on the issue. Leaving it to the eleven judges sitting here in the Supreme Court in London to decide which view should prevail.
It's important because it's an extraordinary use of the British court system to check the power of the prime minister. The final decision could have a profound impact on the way this country works.
It could also have an impact on Boris Johnson, whose first weeks as British prime minister have been dulled by public heckles.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: When -- you should be in Brussels, negotiating. Where is the negotiation going on?
CHANCE: There's also the unprecedented loss of his first six votes in parliament.
JOHN BERCOW, SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE OF COMMONS, UNITED KINGDOM: -- no's to the left, 46 --
CHANCE: And even an embarrassing diplomatic snubs in the tiny European state of Luxembourg where he was empty chaired by its prime minister. The decision of the Supreme Court back in Britain could deliver yet another humiliation.
Matthew Chance, CNN, London.
ALLEN: In Israel, Benny Gantz is declaring victory in Tuesday's elections, arguing it is now clear his party came out on top. Projections show Gantz's Blue and White Party likely edged out Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's Likud Party, but neither one enough support to rule on their own.
Both Gantz and Mr. Netanyahu are now calling for a unity government. The problem, they both want to lead it. Gantz is also rejecting Mr. Netanyahu's offer to share power.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BENNY GANTZ, LEADER, BLUE AND WHITE PARTY (through translator): I want and intend to set a broad and liberal unity government headed by me. A government that will manifest the will of the people, and therefore, promises to the public.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ALLEN: Israel's president is encouraging the political rivals to come together, saying, he wants to avoid another general election.
A rare confrontation on the high seas between Russia and North Korea, after North Korean fishermen, were accused of poaching in Russia's economic zone. Analysts say this incident could have major political ramifications. Our Brian Todd has the story.
BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: What you're seeing is rare footage of a real-life warning shot. A tense confrontation at sea not between the U.S. and an enemy, but between two of America's biggest adversaries.
The footage is from a Russian security vessel, approaching what the Russians say is one of 13 North Korean fishing boats they stopped. Russia's Security Service the FSB says the North Koreans were caught poaching in Russia's fishing zone off its east coast.
Vladimir Putin's government is now holding the fishermen. Accusing them of attacking and wounding four Russians.
DEAN CHENG, SENIOR RESEARCH FELLOW, THE HERITAGE FOUNDATION: I think what makes this potentially unprecedented is there haven't been many reports of North Koreans wounding Russian coastguardsmen.
TODD: The Russians say, they've taken more than 160 North Korean crew members into custody. Analysts say, the confrontation has likely angered Vladimir Putin, who just a few months ago, hosted Kim Jong-un at a summit in Vladivostok.
The two cold war allies pledging their affection for one another.
KIM JONG-UN, SUPREME LEADER OF NORTH KOREA: I came to Russia with the warm feelings of our people.
TODD: There was even talk between the two leaders; of Putin becoming an intermediary between Kim and President Trump. But now, experts say, the incident at sea could be a big setback for the young dictator in Pyongyang.
CHENG: Losing Putin would force North Korea really to rely only on China. And that's a situation that at the end of the day, makes North Korea really even more isolated.
TODD: The confrontation with the Russians also reveals the desperate plight of North Korean fishermen. U.N. sanctions over Kim's nuclear program prohibit the regime from selling seafood to other countries. So, experts say, Kim's government pressures fishermen to sell their catch on the black market.
MARCUS NOLAND, DIRECTOR OF STUDIES, PETERSON INSTITUTE FOR INTERNATIONAL ECONOMICS: They're having to rendezvous with foreign vessels in international waters and essentially sell their catches on the high seas so it can be relabeled as Japanese or Chinese or Singaporean fish.
TODD: That means going further and further out to sea in rickety poorly equipped boats. In recent years, some fishing boats, so- called, ghost ships suspected to be North Korean vessels, have washed up on Japanese shores with only human skeletons on board.
North Korean fishermen are more than willing to risk starvation and death, analysts say, because of the almost unattainable quotas they're given by Kim's regime. How much pressure would these fishermen have been under to produce more and more and more?
ROBERT KING, FORMER UNITED STATES SPECIAL ENVOY FOR NORTH KOREAN HUMAN RIGHTS: Oh, the pressure is incredible in terms of that. There's that out, if they're not -- if they don't pretty -- catch, what they're supposed to do if they're behind, if they lose control of the boat, they will be punished.
TODD: Analysts say as North Korean fishermen grow more desperate, we can expect more confrontations like this on the high seas. They say that might especially occur early next year during the competitive crab fishing season.
The North Koreans are not allowed to reap that harvest because of sanctions. Brian Todd, CNN, Washington.
ALLEN: Next here on CNN NEWSROOM. We have this one for you. This could be the day we find out if there are aliens and UFOs hidden in Area 51 or not. Either way, alien chasers are on their way there.
ALLEN: It is Friday and a day of a huge Facebook event called, Storm Area 51. It is a joke but one that got millions of people to RSVP to raid the highly classified U.S. Air Force facility.
Conspiracy theorists and paranormal enthusiasts have told stories that the government hides alien bodies and UFOs there.
Enzo Marino with affiliate KVVU explains how locals are preparing for a possible onslaught of visitors.
ENZO MARINO, MULTIMEDIA JOURNALIST, FOX5 LAS VEGAS, KVVU: The Area 51 Alien Center in Amargosa Valley is bustling with activity. Cars are coming and going, a storm area 51 quickly approaches.
What do you guys expecting this --
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Aliens. Of course, what else do you expect in Area 51?
MARINO: Do you think there are aliens at Area 51?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes, I do. I do.
MARINO: Are you guys planning on storming?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Maybe. Don't look for us. ADAM TIPPETTS, DEPUTY SHERIFF, NYE COUNTY, NEVADA: We have the perimeter to the Nevada Test Site. The Nevada National Security Site covered, protected. There will -- it will be under surveillance and monitored throughout the entire weekend in the event that anybody tries to penetrate the borders.
MARINO: Since no one knows exactly what's going to happen this weekend, the Nye County Sheriff's Department is preparing for the worst.
TIPPETTS: We're really not sure exactly what the turnouts going to be. It could be as many as 2.1 million or as many as few as 21.
MARINO: The department has set up a command center to serve as their communications hub. Here, they will receive information about what is happening in the surrounding area. In the event of a crisis, they will relay orders to the staging area where search and rescue teams and other resources are standing by.
TIPPETTS: If even one percent of the 2.1 million, who have signed up show up for this, it's going to put a terrible strain on the communities around this area.
MARINO: In the event, cell phone towers are overloaded by the number of visitors. Verizon Wireless has sent a portable cell phone tower to maintain reception in the area.
TIPPETTS: We have a very thorough strategy in place to cover almost every contingency. Even the unforeseen. And we're prepared for mass casualties if that were the case, we're prepared for just a mass invasion of the Nevada National Security Site, and we're even prepared for just the lone wolf -- event of a lone wolf assailant that is possible.
ALLEN: All right. That's the story we'll be following for you. Finally, here, we're welcoming a baby white rhino into the world. The male was born, August 15th. Oh, at a zoo in the Netherlands, but he stepped out of his stable on Thursday with his mother and five other rhinos.
He appears brave and curious, not that giraffe, showing no fear of his new environment as he saw giraffes and antelopes for the first time. He just chased after one. I like this guy.
The World Wildlife Fund, says white rhinos are not endangered and the zoo says about 10 of them are bred and born each year in Europe. No word yet on the little guy's name.
We like our person of the day.
Thanks for joining us -- animal of the day.
I'm Natalie Allen, I'll be right back with more news.
ALLEN: Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, apologizes again after even more images show him in a racist blackface make up.