Return to Transcripts main page

CNN NEWSROOM

Climate Activist Greta Thunberg Scolds World Leaders; U.S. Blames Iran for Attack on Aramco Facility; Trump Ordered Hold on Ukraine Military Aid Days before Call with Ukrainian President; Netanyahu and Gantz Begin Talks on Possible Israeli Unity Government; U.K. Supreme Court to Rule on Parliamentary Suspension; U.K. Government Rallies to Bring Home Stranded Passengers; Tropical Storms Brewing in Ocean; Duchess: Here as Woman of Color, As Your Sister. Aired 12-1a ET

Aired September 24, 2019 - 00:00   ET

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


[00:00:00]

(MUSIC PLAYING)

JOHN VAUSE, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): Hello I'm John Vause. Thank you for watching CNN this is CNN NEWSROOM.

In the hour ahead, how are you? Emotional and scathing criticism from the young climate activist Greta Thunberg, at the U.N. summit directed at world leaders failing to act.

Amid the denials, defiance and double talk: did the U.S. president actually admit that he asked a foreign power to dig up dirt on a political opponent to help him to win an election?

Sure sounded like he did.

And in just a few hours, U.K.'s highest court will hand down a ruling that could have serious implications for the prime minister and his determination for the October 31st Brexit, without a deal.

(MUSIC PLAYING)

VAUSE: Leaders gathered for a one-day on climate change, a meeting so important the U.N. secretary-general demanded no lofty speeches, just concrete proposals for action. France, Germany and India and others are all committed to increase the use of renewable energy. A meeting so important millions of protesters around the world demanding government and businesses do more time their demonstrations for the eve of the summit. A meeting made even more important by new data which shows the planet is getting hotter and faster than previously thought.

With the five years from 2014 to 2019, the warmest on record, a meeting so important that the U.S. president actually turned up. A 15-minute long surprise appearance, which ended before the environmental activist, Greta Thunberg, delivered an emotional speech, ripping into world leaders for failing the next generation. These two did cross paths in the foyer of the U.N. a little later.

The president seemed determined to ignore the 16-year old. In turn she seemed determined to stare him down and had no intention of backing away from her earlier criticism of leaders like Donald Trump.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GRETA THUNBERG, CLIMATE ACTIVIST: For more than 30 years the science has been crystal clear.

How dare you continue to look away and come here, saying that you are doing enough, when the politics and solutions needed are still nowhere in sight?

You say you hear us and that you understand the urgency. But no matter how sad and angry I am, I do not want to believe that because, if you really understood the situation and still kept on failing to act, then you would be evil. And that I refuse to believe.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VAUSE: For more, CNN global affairs analyst and European editor of "The New Yorker" website, David Rohde, is with us from New York.

David, good to see you.

DAVID ROHDE, CNN GLOBAL AFFAIRS ANALYST: Thanks for having me on.

VAUSE: In the smackdown between the 16-year-old versus the leader of the free world, or the leaders of the world, in particular, the president of the U.S., did the 16-year-old come out in front?

ROHDE: I think she did. An American perspective, I don't think it changed anything, I think there are people who dislike Donald Trump and are very inspired by Greta. She was very passionate there in that speech.

But there's a large constituency in the U.S. who still reject the science. It's clear the planet is warming and the weather is getting more extreme so we will see how it plays out in 2020 in the U.S. election.

Clearly, Democrats and liberals are energized about this issue, conservatives are not.

Will liberals and Democrats turn out in enough numbers to remove Donald Trump from power?

VAUSE: On the one, hand Donald Trump does have this history of playing hooky when it comes to meetings on climate change, most recently, at the G7.

Does he get credit for just showing off even though he clearly had no intention. He shuffled the papers around, seemed to be unable to sit still in his seat.

Was it just an attempt to grab attention away from Thunberg?

ROHDE: It might have been an attempt to grab some attention away but the bottom line is the policies in this administration has dismissed global warming, they've increased the use of fossil fuels and there is no question that they're very hostile to Greta, personally.

So I don't see any difference. It was good, I guess, he showed up. But again, it's a policy that matters and I don't see any change at all in this Trump administration policy.

VAUSE: On the eve of the U.N. General Assembly on Tuesday, it happened on Tuesday, there was a statement that was issued beforehand by the leaders of the U.K., France and, Germany to publicly call out Iran for the airstrikes on Saudi Arabia's biggest oil production facility.

[00:05:00]

VAUSE: "There is no other plausible explanation -- Iran bears responsibility for this attack. And these three leaders urged that Iran should "refrain from choosing provocation and escalation."

The context that seems more important, part of a much bigger statement that would reaffirm support for the Iran nuclear deal, the deescalation of tensions and maybe renegotiating the deal, Trump could get a chance to peek around the edges.

Iran's foreign minister says that the latest round of sanctions slapped on the U.S. Treasury was designed to cut off any chance of any renegotiations with the United States. Here's Javid Zarif. Here's what he said.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, CNN HOST: Are you saying that there's a plan afoot to close the door to negotiation by the U.S. president?

JAVAD ZARIF, IRANIAN FOREIGN MINISTER: I think the only reason they would designate a central bank is to make it impossible or very difficult for this president or his successor to remove their name from the list. The ball is very high now. And I think those who proposed this to President Trump wanted to close the door to negotiations.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VAUSE: Translate the diplomatic double-speak, exactly what is he saying?

ROHDE: Zarif is saying they need U.S. economic sanctions reduced. And I don't think there will be any negotiations until that happens.

Earlier this summer, my colleague at "The New Yorker," Robin Wright, reported that Donald Trump invited Javad Zarif to an Oval Office, meeting, this would've been historic, the first time since the '70s that an Iranian minister or leader has visited the Oval Office. The Iranians said no, there's been many outreach efforts by the Trump

administration for talks and the Iranians have said, basically, President Trump wants a photo opportunity, they want sanctions relief, so they will not give Trump, I think, a meeting or a photo opportunity in New York unless there is a reduction in these sanctions that are very pressuring to Iran's economy.

VAUSE: Essentially, it is sanctions relief or it's just there's no point talking.

ROHDE: That is the Iranian position and, look I want to be fair to President Trump. But leverage with Donald Trump is not giving him a photo opportunity. But there was a specific reference to this. In the summer words there was a reset that he did not want, a big summit happened with North Korea's leader but there was no concrete change.

So I see the attack on Saudi Arabia and these different efforts by the Iranians' military to drive up oil prices and pressure the U.S. and the world and the Europeans to do more to relieve the sanctions.

I don't think there will be a breakthrough this week and you will see possibly some other sort of military action by Iran to continue to pressure the world, drive up oil prices and try to get relief from these sanctions.

VAUSE: The speeches at the UNGA begin later on Tuesday, here is a reminder of what happened last year when Donald Trump took the stage.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: In less than two years, my administration has accomplished more than almost any administration in the history of our country. America's -- so true.

(LAUGHTER)

TRUMP: I didn't expect that reaction but that's OK.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VAUSE: Last year the world was laughing at the president and the United States in a way, does it feel like the mood has shifted since in the 12 months since then, is there now more concern about what Donald Trump may or may not do in the next 18 months?

ROHDE: I think they're more concerned what he may or may not do economically. The trade wars with China and Europe and, to a lesser extent, Mexico and Canada, can slow the world economy, the confrontation with Iran can drive up oil prices.

The president has shown that he's not interested in military conflict in the Middle East, doesn't want a military conflict with, Iran but he is putting enormous pressure on the world economy through his negotiating style towards China.

So I do think it's a more somber meeting and he is seen as an economic threat to the rest of the world, not a military one.

VAUSE: David Rohde, appreciate your insight, thank you.

ROHDE: Thank you.

VAUSE: The latest on the whistleblower scandal facing the U.S. president, a senior administration official tells CNN last July, the days before a call with Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky, Donald Trump ordered a freeze on military aid to Kiev.

Mr. Trump denies he abused his authority by pressuring Ukraine to investigate Joe Biden and his son for alleged corruption. He was only recently elected, the former comedian with no political experience, and he is scheduled to meet with Trump on Wednesday. More now from CNN's Pamela Brown.

[00:10:00]

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

PAMELA BROWN, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): President Trump arriving for the United Nations General Assembly today under a cloud of his own making.

TRUMP: We had a perfect phone call with the president of Ukraine.

BROWN: An adviser telling CNN, "This is a serious problem for us," after Trump admitted this weekend he asked the new Ukrainian president to investigate former Vice President and Democratic front-runner Joe Biden and his son.

The president says he was well within bounds, because the new leader's campaign was all about cleaning up corruption, implying those efforts could be tied to USA aid to Ukraine.

TRUMP: If you don't talk about corruption, why would you give money to a country that you think is corrupt? One of the reasons the new president got elected is, he was going to stop corruption. So it's very important that, on occasion, you speak to somebody about corruption, very important.

BROWN: But later clarifying during a meeting with the Polish president.

TRUMP: I did not make a statement that you have to do this, or I'm not going to give you A. I wouldn't do that. I put no pressure on them whatsoever. I could have. I think it would probably, possibly have been OK if I did.

BROWN: While there's no direct evidence Biden, as vice president, had Ukraine's prosecutor fired to squelch an investigation of a company linked to his son, Trump insists something nefarious is afoot.

TRUMP: If a Republican ever did what Joe Biden did, if a Republican ever said what Joe Biden said, they'd be getting the electric chair by right now. BROWN: Trump saying he would be OK releasing the call's transcript, sort of.

TRUMP: It would be fine to do it. I will give it to a respected source. They can look at it. But what I said was so good. It was a great conversation.

BROWN: White House officials are considering releasing the transcript, sources tell CNN, but some senior administration officials are firmly against the idea.

MIKE POMPEO, U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE: Those are private conversations between world leaders. And it wouldn't be appropriate to do so, except in -- in the most extreme circumstances.

BROWN: Concerned it could give Congress the ability to demand transcripts of calls with other leaders, like Russian President Vladimir Putin.

STEVEN MNUCHIN, U.S. TREASURY SECRETARY: I think that would be a terrible precedent.

BROWN: Trump instead shifting the focus to the unknown whistleblower who raised the alarm about the call, tweeting, quote, "Who is this so- called whistleblower who doesn't know the correct facts? Is he on our country's side? Where does he come from?"

(END VIDEOTAPE)

VAUSE: Our thanks to CNN correspondent Pamela Brown for that report.

For more, joined now by political analyst Michael Genovese.

Michael, good to see you.

MICHAEL GENOVESE, POLITICAL ANALYST: Thank you, good to be here.

VAUSE: This story about Trump apparently ordering the acting chief of staff to put on hold military aid within a few days of calling the Ukrainian president and he asked for an investigation into Joe Biden's son.

We also learn from "The Washington Post" that there is nearly $400 million was held back. The Ukrainians have said almost nothing about why. Eventually the funds were released September 11th.

But among other things it brings into question the statement Trump made on Monday. \

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

VAUSE: I did not make a statement that you have to do this or I am not going to give you aid, I would not do that, I would not do that..

(END VIDEO CLIP) VAUSE: It was never that completely blunt but we know from testimony from Trump's former fixer, Michael Cohen, the president talks like a mob boss, he says it with a nod and a wink.

GENOVESE: The president has been caught red-handed and he's trying to wiggle out of it and, yes, he talks like a mob boss, instead of a president and he represents the United States in ways that not only doesn't show the best side of the United States but in this case, being caught red-handed, he was trapped into admitting what he has done.

In that sense it could be a game-changer because the only mechanism left to deal with President Trump -- and I hate to go to this extreme -- is impeachment. That's because the Office of Legal Counsel has already said, that you cannot indict a sitting president but they went further this past week in a Manhattan court, saying, you cannot investigate the potential crimes of a sitting president.

So they've close every, door and that makes impeachment much more likely.

VAUSE: The president on Monday at the U.N. denying that call.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: There was no pressure put on them whatsoever. I put no pressure on them whatsoever. I could have. I think it would probably, possibly have been OK if I did. And they probably know that Joe Biden and his son are corrupt.

If a Republican ever did what Joe Biden did, if a Republican ever said what Joe Biden said, they'd be getting the electric chair by right now.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VAUSE: That last bit is not true but we've been here before, I did not do, it but if I did, there's nothing wrong with it.

GENOVESE: Then the question becomes, why are you stonewalling if there is nothing wrong?

Why are you covering up if there is nothing wrong?

[00:15:00]

GENOVESE: The reason you're lying when you break the law is because you have something to, hide and you some reason to break the law. They have already broken the law, there is no question about that.

The refusal to turn over the report of the whistleblower to Congress is a violation of the law. There could be other violations if the president did hint at a quid pro quo. He did not have to say if you do this and I will do this. All he has to say is, here is the money, I am interested in stopping corruption, I think Joe Biden is guilty of X, Y and Z. So there's your hint. And Ukraine and is so dependent on the U.S. Let's not forget, they're fighting the Russians, so withholding the funds is to help Russia.

Why are we helping Russia again?

VAUSE: It is a good question. Ignorance of the law is no excuse or a defense but the election campaign laws are a little different. It's a violation when a politician or a campaign accepts something of value from a foreign country, knowing it's illegal to do so.

That takes us back to June 13th and the electoral commission who tweeted out the exact regulation and she added this comment, "I would not have thought that I needed to say this."

Here's part of her statement, with the actual regulation.

"Let me make something 100 percent clear to the American public and anyone running for public office: it is illegal for any person to solicit, accept, or receive anything of value from a foreign national in connection with a U.S. election."

That statement came a day after this interview on ABC News.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS, ABC HOST: Your campaign this time around, if foreigners, if Russia, if China, if someone else, offers you information on an opponent, should they accept it or should they call the FBI?

TRUMP: I think maybe you do both. I think you might want to listen, I don't -- there's nothing wrong with listening. If somebody called from a country, Norway, we have information on your opponent, oh, I think I'd want to hear it.

STEPHANOPOULOS: You want that kind of interference in our elections?

TRUMP: It's not an interference. They have information. I think I'd take it.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VAUSE: Either the president is unable to grasp some basic legal concepts or he believes he's above the law or he thinks he is invincible or he's just begging Democrats to impeach him?

GENOVESE: I think, some in Washington think the president is goading the Democrats inviting them to impeach, there's this thought in the Republican Party, look, after 1998, when we impeached Clinton for lying under oath about an extramarital affair, we got trounced in the next election.

Maybe the same dynamic will work for Donald Trump, I think the situations are so dramatically different, the two don't mix at all but in the past year and a half or two, we have been focused on, looking backwards at what happened in 2016, did the Russians do this, did the president do that, did candidate Trump to do this?

This is different, we're looking ahead to the next election, now he is using the leverage of the presidency of the United States to have an impact, in his favor, on the next election, that's clearly a criminal act.

That is if I were a president, I'd be stonewalling and trying to cover up, too.

VAUSE: The administration is blocking the details of the whistleblower complaint to the Congress and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi wrote to lawmakers over the weekend.

"if the administration persists in blocking this whistleblower from disclosing to Congress a serious possible breach of constitutional duties by the president, they will be entering a grave new chapter of lawlessness which will take us into a whole new stage of investigation.

What has to happen before Nancy Pelosi is able to say the I word?

GENOVESE: I know we're not supposed to do math on the program but the calculations have changed dramatically, in the last several hours. Up to this time, I think Nancy Pelosi was right on target, saying, you don't want to be too far ahead. You want to let the story build up.

This is a game-changer in the sense that the number of Democratic legislators are now, according to "The New York Times," got to move ahead, there's a pressure to move ahead, this is a different circumstance than, looking at the past.

Now he's trying to get foreign governments involved in the next election. So I think the calculation, the political calculations have changed and I think Nancy Pelosi will find it irresistible, because there is no mechanism left, to deal with Trump, except impeachment.

Whether this president is goading them or not, it may very well be, that is the only way to deal with a corrupt president and this is probably the most corrupt president in my lifetime in American history.

VAUSE: Michael, thank, you it's great to have you, appreciate it.

GENOVESE: Thank you, John.

VAUSE: The Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his rival Benny Gantz will form possibly form a new unity government. This comes after last week's election ended up with a deadlock. They met with the president, Reuven Rivlin, Monday.

[00:20:00]

VAUSE: And they're considering a rotating prime ministership.

The big question is, who goes first? That's a sticking point, especially for Netanyahu, who is trying to avoid prosecution on corruption charges and wants to stay as prime minister as long as possible.

Still to come, prime minister Boris Johnson political future hanging in the balance as we wait for the U.K. supreme court's decision whether his move to suspend Parliament was lawful.

Also how Thomas Cook's collapse left hundreds of thousands of passengers stranded all of the world, what is being done to get them home.

(MUSIC PLAYING)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(MUSIC PLAYING)

VAUSE: In just a few hours from now, Britain's supreme court will decide if the prime minister's decision to suspend Parliament was legal. Critics argue it was an attempt to shut down debate over Brexit before the October 31st deadline.

At the time, Boris Johnson said it was necessary so the government could prepare a new legislative agenda. If the court rules in Johnson's favor, the Parliament suspension will remain in place as planned until October 14th. The opposition leader, Labour's Jeremy Corbyn, told CNN he wouldn't really do a lot.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JEREMY CORBYN, LEADER, U.K. LABOUR PARTY: Demand that Parliament is recalled and that the suspension of Parliament will be lifted at the moment, Parliament has been suspended until the opening of the new session of Parliament, which is not due until the middle of October. It's the longest suspension between one session and another for 300 years and it seems to me an attempt by the government to prevent any questioning, any debate or any voting.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VAUSE: Corbyn did have a win on Brexit during the annual conference on Monday, voting down the proposal that would have put Labour in the Remain camp. These are the members of the British Labour Party.

Instead, they party wants to negotiate a new Brexit deal and then allow voters to choose between it and remain part of the European Union.

For more on Corbyn's Brexit win and what lies ahead for the prime minister, British journalist Josh Boswell is with us from Los Angeles.

Good to see you, Josh.

JOSH BOSWELL, JOURNALIST: Hi, John. VAUSE: There are two issues here, does the court have the authority to prevent a prime minister from suspending Parliament in the first place?

And if they say yes to that, then the next question follow, did Boris Johnson mislead the queen in his suspension of Parliament?

[00:25:00]

VAUSE: A no to either of those seems is a win for Johnson; a yes, what happens then?

BOSWELL: If the court decides against him, that's another open question. There's a third element to it. What do they do afterwards?

It may be the case that they say, OK, Parliament, it is up to you to decide what you want to do next. And Parliament would probably like to reopen immediately. But there are other options and they could say that this was illegal and you need to reopen Parliament. You need to have a queen's speech as soon as possible.

So it kind of makes it as if this was a normal prorogation or suspension of Parliament but you need the government to declare a new session of Parliament, set out its legislative agenda and start Parliament afresh as normal.

So there's kind of two options there that they can go for. We don't know what the court's decision will be. Legal experts think that it will go against Boris Johnson. But it does all hang in the balance. And we have five hours to go until they are due at 10:30 in the morning U.K. time to announce their decision.

VAUSE: Let's assume the worst; the supreme court says Johnson acted unlawfully. There will be consequences for Brexit, in terms of when it happens and even if it happens.

BOSWELL: The consequences here really are -- they would look pretty negative for Boris Johnson if the court rules against him, not because of any direct effect on Brexit. The court isn't -- they were very clear, the justices, they pointed out that this is not a ruling about Brexit.

But what it means is that the Parliament would be able to go back into session and be able to scrutinize Boris Johnson's nascent Brexit deal that he says he is working on and they can really needle him for the next few weeks leading up to a general election.

It will take the power of the conversation away from Boris Johnson and putting it back to Parliament and that is really tough for him.

VAUSE: Let's finish up with Jeremy Corbyn and the noncommittal Brexit policy they decided on. The background here is that most Labour Party supporters are in the Remain camp, 30 percent are the Leave camp. Now they have a solution.

How will that go down in a general election? BOSWELL: There's a danger that Jeremy Corbyn is letting his party fall between two stalls here. He's very concerned that Labour needs to keep those Brexit voters and there are quite a few. About 60 percent of Labour constituencies voted for Brexit in the 2016 referendum. He's very mindful of that and thinking, yes, we will let people have a second referendum.

But we don't want to come out in favor of Remain so he can still say to the voters, well, we are not a Remain party per se, you could still vote for us and be a Brexiteer. But I don't know if that will play with the voters.

On the other side, the Conservative Party and the Brexit Party are saying to them, you wanted Brexit, that's what we are trying to deliver and Labour has been kind of fudging this for the past two years. They are the least clear out of all the main parties on their Brexit policy. And we are seeing more fudging, more kicking the can down the road.

VAUSE: What's interesting, we're out of time but sometimes the policies are just confusion and not clearly having a set of policies, that sometimes works in politics.

Josh Boswell, good to see you. Thank you.

BOSWELL: thank you.

VAUSE: Short break. When we come back, their bags are packed but they have no way to get home. Hundreds of thousands stranded after Thomas Cook went bankrupt. The latest on what the British government are doing to bring them home.

Also, Puerto Rico in the path of another tropical storm. We will look at Tropical Depression Karen could affect on island.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

JOHN VAUSE, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: Welcome back. I'm John Vause. An update on the hour's top news.

[00:31:27]

U.S. President Donald Trump set to speak at the U.N. General Assembly in the coming hours. Iran is likely to top the agenda. On Monday, Germany, France and the U.K. backed the United States' assessment that Iran was behind the attacks on Saudi oil fields earlier this month.

The Trump administration has told CNN the U.S. president ordered a hold on hundreds of millions of dollars of military aid to Ukraine just days before a call to the country's president. A source says Trump pressured Ukraine to investigate his political rival Joe Biden, as well as his family. Mr. Trump acknowledged they discussed Biden during that telephone call, but he denies any wrongdoing.

A British Supreme Court will soon rule on whether Prime Minister Boris Johnson's move to suspend Parliament for five weeks was legal. Critics say he suspended Parliament to sidestep opposition to his Brexit plan before the October 31st withdrawal deadline.

Mr. Johnson says the suspension was necessary to give the government time to prepare for a new legislative agenda.

From dream vacation to holidays in hell, hundreds of thousands of travelers worldwide are scrambling to find a way home after Thomas Cook, the world's oldest tour operator, closed up shop after 178 years in business.

On Monday, Britain's prime minister, Boris Johnson, visited the British consulate in New York. He met with staffers there working to bring Thomas Cook's British customers back home.

CNN's Melissa Bell has details.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

MELISSA BELL, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): This was the last Thomas Cook plane ever to fly. It landed at Manchester Airport from Orlando, just hours after the world's oldest tour company had gone into liquidation.

PETER FRANKHAUSER, CEO, THOMAS COOK: I want to apologize to my 21,000 colleagues who I know will be heartbroken. You all fought so hard to make Thomas Cook a success.

BELL: With all of its flights grounded overnight, 600,000 tourists found themselves stranded abroad, as British authorities prepared to get U.K. citizens home.

TIM JOHNSON, POLICY DIRECTOR, U.K. CIVIL AVIATION AUTHORITY: This is a huge operation: 150,000 people abroad. We've chartered over 40 aircraft, and those aircraft are already in position. And in the next few hours, we'll start bringing -- we'll start bringing passengers home.

BELL: Others who had been scheduled to start their holiday arrived at British airports, where they heard the news that their trips and even their honeymoons had been canceled.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, we're absolutely gutted. We've looked forward to this for a long time. Had the wedding in July. So it's been another couple of months waiting for this. Yes, absolutely just totally gutted.

BELL: The company had been in talks with its biggest shareholder, the Chinese firm Fosun, over a 900-million-pound bailout package. But the request with the British government for an extra 250-million-pound contingency fund was turned down, leaving the British opposition and unions to lay the blame squarely at the British government's feet.

DIANA HOLLAND, ASSISTANT GENERAL SECRETARY FOR TRANSPORT, UNITE UNION: Today, we have members who have woken up to the story that their company has collapsed. And they haven't got a job. It's absolutely shocking and an act of economic vandalism that this could've been allowed to happen. (on camera): Excuse me. What have you told staff this morning?

(voice-over): But the government says that providing the money would just have put off the company's collapse, rather than preventing it.

GRANT SHAPPS, BRITISH TRANSPORT SECRETARY: So the government, obviously, would do anything we could to support, but the reality is, I think, that times have changed. And this was a business that is still perhaps operating on a model that was good for, you know, the last century or the 1980s or something, but not for the Internet age where people are booking their own holidays so much.

[00:35:03]

BELL: Online competition and political uncertainty in some of the company's key destinations have been blamed by Thomas Cook. But also Brexit, for pushing people to delay making their holiday plans.

(on camera): For years, Thomas Cook's advertising urged those looking to get away, not to book it but to Thomas Cook it. This morning, hundreds of thousands of customers found that they were going to have to rebook it themselves.

Melissa Bell, CNN, at Gatwick Airport.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

VAUSE: Well, right now, three storms are spinning in the Atlantic. One of them, Tropical Depression Karen is fading, but it's still expected to impact Puerto Rico. Take a look at the video here. You can see the Russian flood waters carrying away a car. That's after Karen ripped through Trinidad.

OK, CNN meteorologist Pedram Javaheri joins me really close at the desk here. It's good to see you.

PEDRAM JAVAHERI, CNN METEOROLOGIST: We're here. Nice to see you, as well.

VAUSE: OK. So Tropical depression, not as obviously powerful as a hurricane but still powerful enough to do some damage and bring a lot of water.

JAVAHERI: It is, as you saw in that footage over there. Absolutely. We often kind of put our guard down when we hear tropical storm or depression, but these storms often produce tremendous amount of rainfall. And that's exactly what we're going to break down here when it comes to this particular storm.

Of course, when you think about a tropical depression, as is the case, it's not the only storm out there at this hour. You take a look. We have tropical storms Lorenzo and Jerry, as well, lined up in place. One of these storms will become a major hurricane within the next couple of days. More on that in a moment.

But here we go with Karen. It is just an unorganized complex of thunderstorms west of Guadeloupe, Dominica, Martinique but enough convection, enough thunderstorm activity here to produce some heavy rainfall. And in fact, we do have the officials across this region that have prompted the tropical storm warning for the island of Puerto Rico, including the Virgin Islands, as well, the British and the U.S. Virgin Islands in line here to see some impacts over the next 12 or so hours when the storm moves over land.

But, also flood watches have also been prompted across the entire island as the storm is almost certainly going to impact the central and southern region of the island, sometime Tuesday afternoon, again as a very disorganized tropical depression. Heavy rainfall on a mountainous island is going to be the main concern with this feature, and then beyond that, there are many, many days down the road here, we see a potential turn towards the west.

So we'll monitor this and see exactly how it plays out, but at this point, it looks like a rainmaker. And just to compare this to Dorian from about a month or so ago, where Dorian skirted, of course, past the Virgin Islands and impacted the Virgin Islands and skirted past Puerto Rico. This storm has a more direct impact. Of course, it's a must weaker storm as it impacts the island.

The potential for rainfall there is as much as 150 millimeters over the next couple of days.

Look to the north there. This is Tropical Storm Jerry. This storm also slated to push over portions of Bermuda, potentially going just east of Bermuda, maybe some indirect impacts, but we don't expect it to be as significant as Humberto is, in recent days.

And here's Tropical Storm Lorenzo. By this time tomorrow, this would be a hurricane. Within the next couple of days, a major hurricane in the works, but fortunately, all models indicate this storm is going to remain offshore and not be a direct impact potential there for any land masses.

And leave you with this here, John. We do have a tropical storm, a tropical cyclone, Hikaa, which is on its approach towards Oman, a very unusual set up. Only three storms in the last 50 years have made it ashore as a Category One equivalent across Oman, and this is going to be one of them here within the next few hours, bringing in potentially two years' worth of rainfall to Oman, John.

VAUSE: We keep saying that a lot. Hasn't happened before. The number of storms, the frequency, the intensity, it just keeps getting worse.

JAVAHERI: Very true.

VAUSE: Thank you.

Well, it's a warm welcome for a royal couple. Prince Harry and Meghan wowed the crowd as they launched their very first overseas tour as a royal family. More on that in a moment.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) [00:40:42]

VAUSE: Welcome back, everybody. Britain's duke and duchess of Sussex will keep the focus on children on the second day of their African tour. They'll visit Waves of Change, a charity that provides mental health services to young people. They'll mark Heritage Day in the largely Muslim area of Bo-Kaap. And they will attend a reception for youth at the British high commissioner's residence.

They began their tour outside Cape Town, in a township notorious for a high murder rate. As Max Foster reports, the message of support from the duchess was met with cheers.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

MAX FOSTER, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: The duke and duchess of Sussex receiving a rousing response at the end of their first day here in Cape Town. It all started, though, out in a township, a project very close to the duchess's heart, which is women's empowerment. So young girls being taught about how to empower themselves and about self-defense.

And in her speech, she spoke powerfully about her own identity.

MEGHAN MARKLE, DUCHESS OF SUSSEX: I want you to know that, for me, I am here with you as a mother, as a wife, as a woman, as a woman of color, and as your sister.

FOSTER: After the event, they couldn't avoid but get dragged into the dancing. There was music throughout the day as there often is here.

After that event, they came to this area just to the side of District 6, which is the area which, during apartheid, was cleared. Tens of thousands of people were sent away from their homes to live in another area. And they found out about that.

During the rest of the tour, they'll find out about different parts of South Africa before Prince Harry heads off to Botswana, then Angola, then Malawi. Then they meet up again in South Africa in Johannesburg as a family.

We don't know when or if we'll see baby Archie, but he is due to make his first public appearance, his first official engagement at some point here in South Africa. So we'll bring you the pictures as we get them.

Max Foster, CNN, Cape Town.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

VAUSE: Thank you for watching CNN NEWSROOM. I'm John Vause. Please stay with us. WORLD SPORT is up next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[00:44:24] (WORLD SPORT)

[00:56:32]

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[00:59:23]

VAUSE: Hello, everyone. I'm John Vause. Great to have you with us. You're watching CNN NEWSROOM, live from Studio 7 at CNN's world headquarters in Atlanta.

In the hour ahead, "How dare you?" Emotional and scathing criticism from the young climate activist Greta Thunberg at a U.N. summit, and it was all directed at world leaders for their failure to act.

Amid the denials, defiance and double talk, did the U.S. president actually admit he asked a foreign power to dig up dirt on a political opponent to help win an election. Sure sounded like it.

And in just a few hours, U.K.'s highest court will hand out a ruling which can have serious implications for both the prime minister and his determination for October 31st Brexit, with or without a deal.

END