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U.S. House Launches Trump Impeachment Inquiry; Trump Calls Impeachment Probe "Witch Hunt Garbage"; U.K. Supreme Court Rules Parliament Suspension Unlawful; Tehran Stands Strong In The Face Of U.S. Sanctions; Trump Addresses Nationalism in Speech to World Leaders; The Teacher Who Helped Solve Cape Town's Water Crisis. Aired 1-2a ET

Aired September 25, 2019 - 01:00   ET



JOHN VAUSE, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: Only two U.S. president in the history this country have been impeached Andrew Johnson in 1868 and Bill Clinton in 1998. Neither was removed from office. But the Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is now hoping for a different result when it comes to Donald Trump.

She announced a formal impeachment inquiry on Tuesday with the U.S. President accused of pressuring Ukraine's president to investigate political rival Joe Biden and his son for corruption.


REP. NANCY PELOSI (D-CA): The actions at the Trump presidency revealed dishonorable fact of the President's betrayal of his oath of office, betrayal of our national security, and betrayal of the integrity of our elections.

Therefore, today, I'm announcing the House of Representatives moving forward with an official impeachment inquiry.


VAUSE: The White House says it will release the transcript of that phone call between Donald Trump and Ukraine's president. In the meantime, Donald Trump is unleashing his fury and he's doing it on Twitter. CNN's Kaitlan Collins has more now.


KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: It didn't take long for President Trump to respond to the House Speaker launching that formal impeachment inquiry against him. He was back at his hotel during a break in between his meetings here at the United Nations summit.

And within minutes the President was tweeting lashing out at the House Speaker accusing Democrats of distracting from his successes here at the United Nations summit even though he himself is focused on the scrutiny over this phone call during his time here while meeting with leaders.

And then the President said he couldn't believe that Democrats were already moving this fast ahead before the White House even had the chance to release the transcript of that call with Ukrainians -- with the Ukrainian president.

He tweeted just shortly after. He said, "Secretary of State Mike Pompeo received permission from the Ukrainian government to release the transcript of this phone call." He said, "They don't know either what the big deal is." He called it a total witch hunt scam by the Democrats.

Now, we should note, the President did announce he's going to authorize the full release of the unredacted version of that transcript which he -- which he said he's going to declassify. It's supposed to come out on Wednesday.

But so far, Democrats have said that's just simply not enough for them. They not only want to see this one transcript of the president's phone call with the president of Ukraine, they also want to see this complaint from this whistleblower.

That is really what is leading to this growing momentum, these calls for impeachment from people who have been hesitant to even get near those calls in the past. The White House essentially said they had been expecting this. The Trump campaign said they already prepared a video of Democrats in the past calling for an impeachment inquiry.

So look for them over the next few days to say essentially what Democrats are doing now is no different than the investigations they've been doing for the last few days. But of course, the president is expected to continue to fire off about this as it goes along. Kaitlan Collins, CNN traveling with the president in New York.


VAUSE: Jessica Levinson is a Professor of Law at the Loyola Law School. She's also a professor of governance. She joins us now from Los Angeles. And Jessica, of all people I wanted to talk to today, it was you because I think you know, you'll be able to walk us through everything that's happened. It's good to see you.

JESSICA LEVINSON, PROFESSOR OF LAW, LOYOLA LAW SCHOOL: It's really good to well, at least, hear you.

VAUSE: OK. It's a big deal that Pelosi has made this move because she was really reluctant to go down this road. But where are we now in the overall impeachment process? It sounds all very official and kind of new but in reality those six committees that she talked about, they already deep into their own impeachment investigation. So what changes for the Democrats and what changes for the president?

LEVINSON: Yes. So I mean, everything you said is exactly right. We're moving from an investigation which is less formal to an inquiry which does have some legal significance. So part of the legal significance is that there have been these epic battles between Congress and the president about Congress' subpoena power when they've been trying to investigate the President.

And Congress -- and the President essentially said no, you don't have a good reason, I'm not going to. And now what changes a little bit is that Congress is going to say actually, guess what, we have a great reason. We're in the middle of an impeachment inquiry and that's our reason.

And so if they have to go to court which I think they might, then it does change the legal calculus a little bit. What else changes? We keep reading the words impeachment, official impeachment inquiry in the news and that's a political change.

And it is interesting to me that this is the straw that broke the camel's back for Nancy Pelosi. I think she just couldn't keep the caucus together any longer. So it makes -- you know, it changes the legal landscape, it changes the political landscape as well.

VAUSE: And now listen to the response from President Donald Trump. Here he is.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I think it's ridiculous. It's a witch hunt. I'm leading in the polls. They have no idea how they stop me. The only way they can try is through impeachment. This has never happened to a president before. There's never been a thing like this before. It's nonsense.

And when you see the call, when you see the readout of the call which I assume you'll see at some point, you'll understand. That call was perfect. It couldn't have been nicer and even the Ukrainian government put out a statement that that was a perfect call. There was no pressure put on them whatsoever.



VAUSE: OK, a couple of things here. You know what he said about leading the polls. That's not true. And also early in the day, Trump tweeted out that even though he was at the U.N., he had authorized to release tomorrow as in Wednesday the complete fully declassified, unredacted transcript of his phone conversation with President Zelensky of Ukraine.

What he did not commit to and this is important, was releasing the whistleblower report. And without that, the chances of the transcript of the phone call could almost be meaningless.

LEVINSON: Well, yes. And as you know, President Nixon also released tapes and he said great news. This is going to exonerate me. But they were out of context. They didn't include other evidence. Was there other evidence here? As you said, it's the whistleblower complaint.

So I think that President Trump is going to try hard to essentially take that transcript out of context and to say there was nothing wrong. I think it's also important to remember that a readout of a phone conversation, it loses all subtlety, it loses all intonation.

The other thing that's important is President Trump says I never pressure them. That's not the legal standard here and that's not necessarily what we're looking at. We're looking at abuse of power. We're looking at even with a wink and a nod or what he might not view as pressuring them essentially saying, I have your military aid, you know what I also think would be wonderful if you would investigate a political opponent of mine.

VAUSE: Yes, like a mob boss sort of hints at stuff and doesn't say it explicitly.

LEVINSON: Exactly.

VAUSE: The defense from congressional Republicans has started rolling out that old line about Democrats being sore losers after Trump won 2016. Here's the minority House Leader Kevin McCarthy.


REP. KEVIN MCCARTHY (R-CA): I realize 2016 did not turn out the way Speaker Pelosi wanted it to happen. But she cannot change the laws of Congress. She cannot unilaterally decide we're in an impeachment inquiry.


VAUSE: I guess that seems odd because I thought the House Speaker can actually make that decision before with this impeachment inquiry. So at this point, it's probably best to you know, tell us what exactly what impeachment is and what it is not. It's not the removal of the president from office but it could end that way.

LEVINSON: It could end that way. I mean, I do think it's interesting that people or I should say Republicans keep putting this on this idea of sour grapes for the 2016 election when of course what we've been seeing throughout the last three years is I think it's important to mention, it looks like we no longer have the separation of powers in our country. It looks like we have the separation of parties because there is -- there are real facts here, there are real questions that need to be answered.

And frankly, I think Congress already has enough to go forward with impeachment. So you asked me, what does that impeachment inquiry look like? I mean, it looks like these six different committees continuing with their investigations. It looks like -- frankly, I think it's not going to take that long because so much of the information is already out in the public.

I think there'll be some subpoena fights, there'll be some fights over how many people are going to testify, what they're going to testify to, how many documents Congress can get, and then Congress will decide whether or not to draw up articles of impeachment. That's the next step. I think it's very unlikely Nancy Pelosi would give the green light to

going ahead with an inquiry if she didn't in some way feel comfortable with articles of impeachment. If the House votes by a simple majority, yes, we think the president should be impeached, then he's impeached.

But as you said, he stays in office. It takes the Senate by a vote of two-thirds to remove the president. I think what we've seen here is there's no appetite in Republicans in the Senate to remove the president. I think he will still be the sitting president of the United States and 2020.


VAUSE: We'll see. I'm not so sure about that one. Jessica, thanks for being with us. We really appreciate it.

LEVINSON: Thank you.

VAUSE: And it was a no good, very bad day for Britain's embattled prime minister as well. After Boris Johnson addressed the U.N. General Assembly, he cut short his trip to home after an extraordinarily ruling by the U.K. Supreme Court.

A unanimous decision, the 11th justices found Boris Johnson's suspension of Parliament in the run to the Brexit deadline was unlawful. Nina dos Santos explains the latest setback for Boris Johnson.


NINA DOS SANTOS, CNN EUROPE EDITOR: They waited outside in the rain hopeful of victory. Inside the court, they weren't disappointed.

LADY HALE, PRESIDENT, U.K. SUPREME COURT: This was not a normal prorogation in the run-up to a Queen's speech.

DOS SANTOS: It took just 15 minutes for the UK's highest court to deliver the bombshell ruling against the prime minister.

HALE: The effect on the fundamentals of our democracy was extreme. No justification for taking action with such an extreme effect has been put before the court.

DOS SANTOS: Dismantling Boris Johnson's plan to sideline Parliament.

HALE: The court is bound to conclude therefore that the decision to advise Her Majesty to parade Parliament was unlawful.

DOS SANTOS: The effect of the decision if there was any doubt was made crystal clear.

HALE: Parliament has not been prorogued. This is the unanimous judgment of all eleven justices.

DOS SANTOS: Outside court, a celebration. GINA MILLER, APPELLANT: Today's ruling confirms that we are a nation

governed by the rule of law. Laws that everyone even the Prime Minister is not above.

JOANNA CHERRY, SCOTTISH NATIONAL PARTY: So there is nothing to stop us members of parliament such as myself and my colleagues from resuming immediately the important job of scrutinizing this minority Tory government as we hurtle towards Brexit.

DOS SANTOS: The ruling was handed down just as the U.K. opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn was taking to the stage at his party's conference.

JEREMY CORBY, LEADER, LABOUR PARTY: It shows that the Prime Minister has acted wrongly in shutting down Parliament. And I invite Boris Johnson in the historic words to consider his position.

DOS SANTOS: Boris Johnson is currently in New York for the United Nations General Assembly. No apology and no indication of remorse.

BORIS JOHNSON, PRIME MINISTER, UNITED KINGDOM: I strongly disagree with this decision of the -- of the Supreme Court. I have utmost respect for our judiciary. I don't think this was the right decision.


DOS SANTOS: British lawmakers are now set to return to work on Wednesday.

BERCOW: I've instructed the house authorities to undertake such steps as are necessary to ensure that the House of Commons sits tomorrow.

DOS SANTOS: The ruling is yet another significant blow to Johnson's young premiership. Having already lost six votes in just his first month in office and been forced by Parliament to seek a Brexit extension if there's no withdrawal deal by the end of next month.

JOHNSON: There's been no doubt there are a lot of people who want to frustrate Brexit. There are a lot of people who basically want to stop this country coming out of the E.U.

DOS SANTOS: His plan to exit the E.U. on October the 31st is being thwarted it seems at every stage. Nina dos Santos, CNN London.


VAUSE: CNN's European Affairs Commentator Dominic Thomas joins us once again from Los Angeles. OK, Dominic, so I guess like there's number of ways this could all play out in the coming hours and days. The government can comply with the ruling which would probably mean a Brexit delay. They can ignore it and try their luck in court again. Maybe Boris Johnson will resign. But none of these options look particularly good, do they?

DOMINIC THOMAS, CNN EUROPEAN AFFAIRS COMMENTATOR: They don't. And ultimately, John, we have absolutely no idea really where this is going to end up. What we do know is that Parliament will open, that Boris Johnson will have to face an increasingly hostile house of parliament whose power has been restored by this absolutely unanimous verdict by the -- by the Supreme Court.

And there will essentially be a standoff between a sitting Prime Minister who wants the general election and an opposition that has regained power and wants to ensure that the Prime Minister will go to the European Union and ask for an extension to make sure that they do not crash out at the end of October with a No Deal. And that's the situation that they're going to end up in there in the coming days.

VAUSE: This is all related to Brexit but it does not directly apply to a Brexit in the sense of really does not directly impact the deadline for Brexit or Brexit will happen or not. But it could have this indirect impact by what happens in Parliament. Please explain that.

THOMAS: Yes. I mean, basically so, Parliament has already ruled with the Benn bill that the Conservative government cannot leave the European Union without there being a deal. Boris Johnson has set this as a -- as a red line and wants to leave either with a deal by October 30th and the clock is ticking away because the E.U. Council will meet in about the third week of the month of October. They need to have a deal done by then. No progress has been made in that direction and it's extremely unlikely that anything he brings back to Parliament he will be able to -- he will be able to pass through.

So the parliaments number-one concern now -- remember that the Prime Minister has lost his majority, Parliament is in control. The opposition wants to make sure that they do not leave with a -- with a no-deal and they, therefore, want an extension. And until that is granted, they refused to have any kind of discussion about there being a general election.

And so, Boris Johnston's Conservative Party conference begins at the weekend and there's another opportunity for him at some point to, yet again, prorogue or suspend Parliament so that he can engage in this -- in this Queen's speech. And there's going to be a standoff. And you see this frustrated Prime Minister now, essentially breaking the law, ignoring Parliament, in the goals of achieving this Brexit vision that his -- that his cabinet as is embraced, and is clearly at odds with the current House of Parliament.


VAUSE: It's already quite the 63 days for Boris Johnson and Downing Street, isn't it? That's how long he's been there. He has to survive another 56. And that way, he will not be the country's shortest- serving Prime Minister. Is this now like a day-by-day affair for Johnson?

THOMAS: I mean, look, it is. I mean, the most extraordinary is that the party will, you know, is sticking -- is sticking with him. We've got here, you know, the third Prime Minister since the Brexit vote, and in June 2016, he was the overwhelming favorite going into that Conservative Party election. And of course, what is really keeping him here is the fact that the opposition is divided; is unable to reach consensus over a position on Brexit.

So, you have the Lib Dems that want to revoke and remain in the European Union and this ambiguous position of the Labour Party. And this means that not only Boris Johnson, but the Conservative Party remain the leading party in all polls in the U.K. right now. And I think that until the opposition changes that and becomes part of the solution rather than part of the problem, we are stuck in this situation as we were with Prime Minister May.

VAUSE: Yes, and here we go again, and we are very much in the situation where the clock is ticking down. Dominic, good to see you. Thank you.

THOMAS: Al right. Thanks, John.

VAUSE: Still to come, with a dire threat and warning in one hand, an olive branch in the other, Donald Trump's very confusing outreach to Iran in his address to the U.N. General Assembly, that's next. Also, a look at how Tehran is dealing with the weight of crippling sanctions, which is directly impacting the economy and sending into free-fall.


PEDRAM JAVAHERI, CNN INTERNATIONAL METEOROLOGIST: It is September 25th, 2019, which means Christmas Day is about three months away. Are you ready for that? We're ready for the warm weather across portions of the Southeastern United States. We're talking about big time warmth still in place, and even some (INAUDIBLE) weather we've seen over the past 24 or so hours. In fact, five reports of tornadoes in the portions of the upper Midwestern U.S. in a 24-hour period. To the south, though, we'll get some rainfall across areas around Arkansas and State of Oklahoma. That's kind of the trouble spot. Beyond that, really, some morning showers out of Chicago and middle-20s there. New York City also in the middle-20s, Montreal a splendid autumn day at 21 degrees with partly cloudy conditions.

And notice, we do want to warm you up one more time across New York City before we drop it off on Friday. And yes, it is the season here where we kind of seesaw between the temperatures before the colder air eventually winds out. But Washington seeing some big time warmth the next couple of days up to 33 degrees before conditions cool off beyond that.


New York City kind of perfectly depicted, right, when you talk about the upper 20s and the lower 20s and back and forth, they battle in the next seven days. The tropics we go, Lorenzo, Karen, Jerry, and a 20 percent chance of formation. Jerry going to be skirting by Bermuda; Karen impacts across areas of Puerto Rico. Here are some thunderstorm activity as it skirted east of the island in the past several hours. And the models here really fascinating because go through the North begins to revert back down to the south and potentially heads towards the west in the next several days.


TRUMP: No responsible government should subsidize Iran's bloodlust. As long as Iran's menacing behavior continues, sanctions will not be lifted. They will be tightened.


VAUSE: Just part of U.S. President Donald Trump's address to the U.N. General Assembly, calling out the threat posed by Iran. Later, though, he hinted that talks with Tehran were still possible. The French President Emmanuel Macron says the time has come for the U.S. to sit down with Iran and the other parties to the Iran Nuclear Deal to ensure that Iran never acquires or develops nuclear weapons. Iran's Foreign Affairs Minister had this to say.





VAUSE: There'll be no changed to that deal. Prime Minister Boris Johnson is also open to the idea of talks with Iran. He's even invited President Hassan Rouhani in London. CNN's Fred Pleitgen reports now from Iran on the impact those harsh U.S. sanctions are having on an already-struggling Iranian economy.


FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: As the U.S. piles ever more sanctions on Iran, Tehran is keen to show the country is standing strong, despite President Trump's tough talk.

TRUMP: Iran knows if they misbehave, they're on borrowed time. They're not doing well.

PLEITGEN: Iran's leaders say they won't back down diplomatically or militarily.

The Trump administration defines its policy towards Iran as one of maximum pressure. The Iranians, for their part, say that their answer is what they call a policy of maximum resistance. And the conflict between these two adversaries is already leading to major tensions in the Middle East.

The U.S. and Iran seem to be on a dangerous collision course. Washington accusing Tehran of being involved in recent attacks on two Saudi oil facilities, claims Iran's leadership rejects. And after Iran's military recently shot down a U.S. drone, claiming it straight into its airspace, which Washington says is not true. Iran's military leadership warning President Trump not to take military action.

Be careful, the head of the Revolutionary Guard said. A limited aggression would not remain limited. We are after punishment and prosecution. We've shown this. We will continue until the full destruction of any aggressor.

After the Trump administration left the Iran nuclear agreement, the deal that curbed Tehran's nuclear program in return for sanctions relief, Iran's defiant answer has been to ramp up its nuclear activity.

We will witness new research and development in the field of centrifuges, the country's president said. Various types of new centrifuges and whatever we need for enrichment, which will be handled by our Atomic Energy Organization. And we will observe fast pace in this regard. Iran's Supreme Leader even laying out his preconditions for any sort of talks with the Trump administration.

If the U.S. took back its words, he said, if they repent and return to the agreement they breach. If they became a member country of the contract parties, then they can participate in the group of countries negotiating with Iran. Without doing so, no negotiations will take place at any level between the authorities of the Islamic Republic of Iran and the Americans, neither New York or anywhere else.

But for all the confident rhetoric, Iran is a nation under heavy pressure from the U.S.'s crippling sanctions. The country's currency has tumbled; international investors have withdrawn; and unemployment is skyrocketing. And sanctions are hitting some of the most vulnerable, many hospitals are having trouble getting specialized instruments and medication, sometimes with devastating consequences.

DR. MOHAMMAD HASSAN BANI ASAD, MANAGING DIRECTOR, GANDHI HOTEL HOSPITAL: Of course, that we have the procedures but we don't have the instruments, and it's very difficult for patients and maybe lead to death.

PLEITGEN: Ever since the Islamic Revolution in 1979, Iran's religious and political leaders have seen their country as the center of resistance against what they believe is American dominance in the Middle East. Isolated and virtually without any support when Iran was attacked by Saddam Hussein's Iraq in 1980, Iran resisted and under heavy casualties, fought back; reaching a stalemate even as Saddam Hussein unleashed chemical weapons on Iran's forces. Iran's leaders still say it is their total will to resist that has made Iran one of the strongest nations in the Middle East.


ZARIF: How do you think we built all of this, huh? How do you think we built the missile system that brought down a U.S. drone? We were not supported by anybody. We were not given any equipment. We were not given any means of defending ourselves, even through eight years of war, nobody gave us means of defense.

PLEITGEN: Tehran says it will never buckle under the Trump administration sanctions. And the Islamic Republic's leaders say, while they don't want war with America, they vow all-out retaliation if their country is ever attacked. Fred Pleitgen, CNN Tehran. (END VIDEOTAPE)

VAUSE: Well, setting before a global body dedicated to globalism, the U.S. President declared globalism dead (INAUDIBLE).



JOHN VAUSE, CNN ANCHOR: Welcome back to CNN NEWSROOM. Thanks for staying with us. I'm John Vause.

This is the headlines for the hour.

The White House is set to release both the transcript of a phone call between Donald Trump and Ukraine's president and the whistleblower report which has now led to a formal impeachment inquiry.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi says Donald Trump violated the Constitution by asking Ukraine to investigate his political rival Joe Biden.

Britain's House of Commons will reconvene later Wednesday after an extraordinary Supreme Court ruling that Prime Minister Boris Johnson's suspension of Parliament was unlawful. Johnson, in New York for the U.N. General Assembly, said he disagreed with the ruling and vows to push ahead with Brexit by the October 31st deadline.

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are on their first official overseas trip as a family. In Cape Town they met with young community leaders and visited a mosque. So far there's been no public appearance of Baby Archie.

President Trump's U.N. address lacked the energy and spontaneity of one of his campaign rallies in the U.S. But in many ways it hit on the same topics.

He said his policies, well, they're great. He promised nationalism and U.S. military might. And he slammed globalism.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: If you want freedom take pride in your country. If you want democracy hold on to your sovereignty. And if you want peace love your nation.

Wise leaders always put the good of their own people and their own country first. The future does not belong to globalists. The future belongs to patriots.


VAUSE: David Sanger is with us now from Washington. David is a CNN political and national security analyst. He's also a national security correspondent for the New York Times. David -- thanks for being with us.


VAUSE: Ok. That line we heard from the President the future does not belong to globalists. It belongs to patriots. Almost sounded like a throwaway but in many ways, just looking at the speeches on the this first day and the order they appeared which was purely coincidental it seems to affirm what Trump was saying.

The man they call the Trump of the Tropics, Brazil's Jair Bolsonaro, he was before the President and then after the President. We heard the man from that Donald Trump calls his favorite dictator, the president of Egypt Al-Sisi. And then after him came Turkey's Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

So you know, it's a rogue's (ph) gallery of like mines all of whom are on board with the U.S. president, especially when, you know, if you take out the word patriot and you replace it with nationalist?

SANGER: Well, I think there were several remarkable things about the speech. The first was it was delivered in the most flat tones. It had neither the fire and fury line of his first speech. And it didn't have what became the last line of last year's speech, when he talked about how no other president has ever been as successful, no other country as the U.S. and people laughed at him. So he was going to stick right to his script.

The second was, as you pointed out this very remarkable discussion of nationalism, the importance of holding on to national identity, of making that your first priority in the headquarter of the organization that was built for international cooperation, or trying to find common ground among different national groups.

And then the third thing was remarkable was how little he talked about the strikes on the Saudi oil fields.

VAUSE: You know what -- also, I thought about that tone though because it was very flat. It was monotone. And all the energy and the enthusiasm of (INAUDIBLE), yet everything that Donald Trump was talking about, they were his favorite themes.

You go to a Donald Trump rally, he will roll them out. The crowd going nuts and he sort of lives off that energy. Is that the basic difference here?

SANGER: Well, it was his audience, you know, he was interrupted for applause precisely zero times. He's not used to that, particularly when giving a speech.

But second, I thought was notable here was that he understood that he was delivering a line that a few national leaders would appreciative but that most of the diplomats in the room certainly wouldn't.

And then he was a little bit distracted. I mean here he was up talking to the United Nations meeting foreign leaders, on the day the Democrats are running around Washington, deciding that the moment is finally come to try to impeach him. So he's brain was back down on that problem, while his body was up at the U.N. VAUSE: And it was interesting road -- you mentioned this, you know,

appearing before, you know, the ultimate institution to multilateralism or, you know, internationalism as you like, taking this particular theme. And to take that one step further, the motto or the theme for Tuesday's debate at the U.N.G.A. was galvanizing multilateral efforts for poverty eradication, quality education, climate action and inclusions.

But that's not to say that the President, the U.S. president does not see moments when the world should come together and he made the example of Iran which Trump said, you know, is one of the greatest security threats to peaceful nations.

Here he is.



TRUMP: All nations have a duty to act. No responsible government should subsidize Iran's bloodlust. As long as Iran's menacing behavior continues, sanctions will not be lifted, they will be tightened.

Iran's leaders will have turned a proud nation into just another cautionary tale of what happens when a ruling class abandons its people, and embarks on a crusade for personal power and riches.


VAUSE: And, you know, because the tone was just so flat with monotone. There was no editing -- it's hard to pick a headline out of that speech. But it does seem that apart from joint military actions Donald Trump sees no use for organizations like the U.N.

SANGER: Well, the tone was flat. He almost sounded bored with the sound of his own voice on this which is why he doesn't usually read off teleprompters.

But if you get to the substance what struck me in that whole segment was what was missing. So just two days ago his Secretary of State, called the attack on the Saudis an act of war and said the Iranians were responsible for it.

You did not hear the President use the phrase "act of war". You did not even hear him directly accuse the Iranians of being responsible for it. You didn't hear him say that that we need to go to the Security Council and organize some kind of collective response.

You didn't hear him ask for authorization to use some kind of military force. You didn't even hear him threaten that he might.

So there was something going on in here in which the United States appears to be losing a little bit of its confidence that it's going to prove the attack was Iranian even though the Europeans by and large endorsed that view. And where he seems to have no appetite in trying to put together a coalition to deal with us.

VAUSE: The thing though about Donald Trump is that a flip-flop from Donald Trump, you know, it happens every hour almost, you know on any given subject so when he does not talk about (INAUDIBLE) by the U.N. it just seems like, you know, Donald Trump's normal behavior.

SANGER: Well, it could have been. But you know, compare this to fire and fury, what has North Koreans done to lead to the warning of fire and fury like the world has never seen? They did a few test launches.

What did the Iranians to? If you believe the U.S. charge? Well, they wiped out half of Saudis oil facilities and supply chain, and ability to produce. One of those sounds a lot more severe than the second. And yet he didn't have an organized response in mind.

VAUSE: David -- thank you so much.

SANGER: Thank you. Always great to be with you.

VAUSE: And with that we'll take a short break. We'll be back in a moment.

You're watching CNN.



VAUSE: Two years ago, Cape Town came dangerously close to running completely out of water, but it didn't. Water rations cut consumptions, heavy rains replenished the reservoirs. But there's another reason why they did not run dry -- a new type of water meter.

CNN's Robyn Curnow has more now in this edition of "Innovate Africa".


ROBYN CURNOW, CNN CORRESPONDENT: In 2017 in the midst of a severe drought Cape Town made an astonishing announcement, the city of four million was only months away from a total collapse of its public water system.

THINUS BOOYSEN, INVENTOR, ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR, STELLENBOSCH UNIVERSITY: Supplies were dwindling and it just wasn't raining. And there was a real threat that the city would run out of water.

CURNOW: Day Zero, as it became known spurred Thinus Booysen to come up with an innovative solution. A professor at Stellenbosch University, he was already working with students on a device to help manage electricity used for water heating.

BOOYSEN: So when the drought came we stripped it down to just become a very simple water meter which we called Count Dropula and we use this Count Dropula at the schools to raise awareness, to change behavior and to also improve the maintenance discourse.

CURNOW: Soon, local businesses got involved, sponsoring schools to help pay for the cost of installation and maintenance.

SEAN CAROLISSEN, HEADMASTER, NOOITGEDACT: At least, after the we (INAUDIBLE) we switched off all the taps. Checked that they weren't leaking. Leaking taps were fixed immediately and then we discovered, but there are still water being used, so what we did it was we traced the problem and found it was an underwater lake and we replaced the pipe.

BOOYSEN: Their schools had a massive impact and what we found was that many of schools were using in the order 20, 13, 14 kiloliters per day, and a lot of that was waste.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: But every day, they give us a report of the flow of water in there.

CURNOW: Armed with information, principals were able to empower their students to become part of the solution.

MIKE MORAVANA, HEADMASTER, HECTOR PETERSON SECONDARY SCHOOL: For me, the fact that there was a reporting system on a daily basis that could give you an account of your water usage. it made us as the school, as well as the teachers and I hope (INAUDIBLE) for a much more user- friendly in terms of water, than we were before.

BOOYSEN: To date, we save more than 500 million liters of water at the 350 odd schools.

CURNOW: But Booysen's success goes beyond saving water. By keeping kids engaged and rewarding schools good for their conservation, this technology is also changing behaviors.

CAROLISSEN: It was a real surprise that we managed to save the most water and it was such a simple thing, through saving water, we should, otherwise we would have just flowed away.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It shows that if people keep on thinking critically there's always solutions to every problem that we might have.

CURNOW: Robyn Curnow, CNN.


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