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Violence Grips Hong Kong over the Weekend; Cathay Pacific Staffers Speak up about White Terror; Baseball Has Become One of Japan's Most Popular Sports. Aired 1-2a ET
Aired September 30, 2019 - 01:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
NATALIE ALLEN, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: Live from CNN center in Atlanta, hello, everyone, I'm Natalie Allen. Coming next here on CNN NEWSROOM, an escalating rebuke. The U.S. President calling for the outing of the anonymous whistleblower in the Ukraine scandal.
Big rhetoric light on details. The British Prime Minister promises an exit from the European Union in 32 days but he won't say how that's going to happen.
And still no admission. In a new interview, the Saudi Crown Prince denies ordering the killing of Jamal Khashoggi but says he takes full responsibility for the murder.
Thank you for joining us. Our top story here, facing an impeachment inquiry. The U.S. President is lashing out at one of his main Democratic adversaries. Donald Trump tweeted he wants House Intelligence Committee Chair Adam Schiff questioned for fraud and treason. He also went after the whistleblower at the heart of the Ukraine scandal. The President calling him his accuser and said he wants to meet him and try to discredit his information.
The tweets look like a rallying cry for Mr. Trump's base, but they are not slowing down Democrats on Capitol Hill. Schiff says there are safety concerns for the whistleblower, but he is planning to testify.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. ADAM SCHIFF (D-CA): All the that needs to be done at this point is to make sure that the attorneys that represent the whistleblower get the clearances that they need to be able to accompany the whistleblower at the testimony, and that we figure out the logistics to make sure that we protect the identity of the whistleblower. That's our paramount concern here.
This whistleblower has done obviously a cardinal service to the country by exposing wrongdoing of the most serious kind, a breach of the President's duty to the country that endangers our security and he's got to be worried about his own security right now with the president issuing threats like he did the other day.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ALLEN: Yes. Lawyers for the whistleblower also say they are worried as well about his safety. They've written a letter to acting National Intelligence Director Joseph Maguire, seen right there, asking for resources to protect their client.
This comes as Trump supporters are trying to defend the president. CNN Sarah Westwood has more about this from the White House.
SARAH WESTWOOD, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Allies of President Trump were out in full force on Sunday defending Trump and questioning the motives of the whistleblower as democratic House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam shift says his committee has reached a tentative agreement with the whistleblower for him or her to come in and deliver testimony.
And Attorney for the whistleblower also confirmed on Twitter on Sunday that they have been in talks with lawmakers from both parties in the House and the Senate to make that testimony happen. But top aide to President Trump Stephen Miller on Sunday continued to attack the whistleblower as partisan and accused that person of undermining Trump's administration. Take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
STEPHEN MILLER, SENIOR ADVISER, WHITE HOUSE: The President is the whistleblower here. The President of the United States is the whistleblower. And this individual is a separate tour trying to undermine a democratically elected government.
The behavior of this individual is close to a spy. I don't know who the individual is. All I know is at some point, Chris, we have to focus on the real scandal, which is three years of deep state sabotaege.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WESTWOOD: Meanwhile, Rudy Giuliani, the President's personal attorney on Sunday get conflicting answers about whether he would be willing to testify before the House Intelligence Committee.
Giuliani is at the center of the Ukraine controversy. He's mentioned several times in the whistleblower's complaint, and President Trump brought up Giuliani during that now-infamous July phone call with Ukrainian President Zelensky.
Now, despite telling CNN on Friday that he would be willing to testify before Congress if President Trump gave him the all-clear, Giuliani did muddy the waters a little bit when he was asked again on Sunday. Take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RUDY GIULIANI, LAWYER OF DONALD TRUMP: I wouldn't cooperate with Adam Schiff. I think Adam Schiff should be removed. If they remove Adam Schiff, if they put a neutral person who hasn't prejudged the case, if they put someone in, a Democrat who hasn't expressed an opinion yet, if I had a judge in a case, and he had already announced I'm going to impeach, if he already went ahead and did a whole false episode, would I -- would I not move to refuse that judge?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So that's your answer. You're not going to cooperate.
GIULIANI: I didn't say that. I will consider it.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You said you wouldn't do it. You said you will not cooperate with Adam Schiff.
GIULIANI: I said I will consider it. I have to be guided by my client. Frankly, I'm a lawyer. It's his privilege, not mine. If he decides that he wants me to testify, of course, I'll testify.
WESTWOOD: The House Democrats are ramping up pressure on the Trump administration to hand over documents and provide testimony related to the Ukrainian controversy on Friday issuing that subpoena for Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and giving him a deadline only of until October 4th, that's Friday, to provide documents that they have sought since September 9th.
They also want depositions from top State Department officials, including from former U.S. Envoy to Ukraine Kurt Volker. Now, Volker is slated to appear before three different Congressional committees this week. So the pressure on the White House to provide those documents that House Democrats have been seeking will be intense, particularly this week. Sarah Westwood, CNN, the White House.
ALLEN: The impeachment inquiry could turn into a diplomatic nightmare for Ukraine and that may be why officials there aren't saying much, at least publicly. CNN's Matthew Chance has more about that from the Ukrainian capital.
MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, the Ukrainian government is being incredibly tight-lipped about the U.S. political crisis that it's been sucked into. However, there is deep concern here about the impact that crisis could have on Ukraine, which is dependent on U.S. support.
One top aide to the Ukrainian president has now spoken out on national television in a bit to distance his country for the increasingly better and divisive battle. Take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ANDRIY YERMAK, AIDE TO UKRAINIAN PRESIDENT ZELENSKY (through translator): These are the internal affairs of the United States. We see in the USA, our friends, our strategic partner. What happens there is their internal political kitchen. We will not take part in this in any way. Our friendship and our support is bilateral. It is there, it is very powerful, and I am sure there will continue to be so.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CHANCE: Well, Ukraine is fighting a war in its east against Russian- backed rebels and waging a diplomatic campaign to regain control of the Crimean peninsula, which was annexed by Russia in 2014. There are concerns that cross-party support for Ukraine may be strained in the parties and political fight underway in America.
President Trump's temporary suspension of military aid to the country has also been disconcerting, with one former foreign minister here commenting that the Kremlin in Moscow will be watching this Ukrainian crisis unfold with glee. Matthew chance CNN, Kyiv.
ALLEN: I'm joined by CNN Senior Political Analyst Ron Brownstein now to talk about all of this. He is a Senior Editor at The Atlantic. Ron, hello to you. We were told this impeachment inquiry would be a rough one and we are seeing signs of that already. The Democrats do begin their inquiry this week and the President and his allies are pushing back hard. What are you expecting?
RON BROWNSTEIN, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: I'm expecting kind of, you know, apocalyptic struggle over several months, and one that really just kind of highlights like a bolt of lightning on a dark evening, or just the extended the divides that already exists in our society.
We were heading in this direction, certainly before 2016 but 2016 really deep in the trench, what I call the trench between blue America and Latin America. We see the country kind of more consistently lining up on either side of that divide metro America, very moving toward the Democrats, especially in the Trump era non-metro America very solidly within.
The President is willing to kind of lean into these divisions in his defense and I think we're going to see more of that in the next couple months.
ALLEN: Well, many Democrats have said that the whistleblower report is a roadmap of allegations that need to be investigated. In other words, could this go -- do you see this going beyond a phone call with Ukraine?
BROWNSTEIN: Yes, I do. I think that, you know, the investigation will determine the extent to which as the whistleblower said in the complaint. It was widely accepted knowledge inside the government that the President would not meet with the Ukrainian president, or potentially released a military aid unless they were willing to, "play ball on Biden." I mean, I think that is I think the critical context for this call. The call by itself, I believe, is probably going to be enough for almost all Democrats to vote to impeach him. But I think that if there is evidence that through the spring and summer, that in fact, as the whistleblower alleges that this was widely understood inside government, I think that just as much -- it makes -- it compounds the offense and makes it much more damning.
ALLEN: And we know that the President is very angry over this. He is lashing out furious at this inquiry even though he said that he thought this might come one day, it is here. He even says he wants the chair of the House Intelligence Committee Mr. Schiff question for fraud and treason and he wants to meet the whistleblower. What does that say about where the President is and how he's taking this?
BROWNSTEIN: And you know, the third tweet from tonight basically quoting sympathetically from an evangelical minister that he's removed from office, it will be a civil war style breach inside of the country.
As I said, you know, we -- you can argue that the country was more divided at the end of each recent presidency than it was at the beginning, whether it was Bill Clinton or George Bush, or Barack Obama, but all of them tried in their own way to heal the divisions and to narrow the divisions in society.
President Trump I think, is the first one who has consciously as part of his political strategy leaned into widening those divisions, seeing it as to his benefit to treat blue America more as a foil than as a target to court. And I think that is the backdrop of what we are seeing on impeachment.
And I think he will simply double down or, you know, triple down, quadruple down on that strategy. And he will go very far in the direction of essentially saying, this is a coup by blue America against all of us, the real Americans.
And you know, it's very interesting the video right away, that he put out yesterday, it was that they are going after me because they want to silence you. That is his message whenever he comes under criticism from any front AND I believe we're going to hear that at a very high level in the coming weeks and months.
ALLEN: And do you expect that Republicans in the Congress will stay by his side throughout this? And if we see that the public is getting behind this impeachment inquiry and supporting it, will that change?
BROWNSTEIN: That's a really -- you know, it's obviously a critical question. In the end, the vast majority of Republicans will stay with him I think in both the House and the Senate. The really absent, you know, new revelations that are sent that make his position simply untenable.
The question is, are there kind of a thin slice of Republicans who gave this more credibility by expressing concern and ultimately joining in any action that occurs? So far, you know, the evidence is not usually encouraging on that front. In the polling today from CBS, there was about a quarter of Republicans, a number that I think surprised many people, including me, who said they were willing to support at least an inquiry, but that is the question.
I mean, you know, we have moved toward a vastly more tribal politics than in the Watergate era even during Iran contra and arguably even more than during the Bill Clinton impeachment in 1998. And, you know, this is conduct that I think a number of Republican national security officials, former officials are going to raise tremendous concerns about whether any Republican elected officials beyond Mitt Romney from Utah and maybe a couple others are willing to join and I think is the biggest unanswered questions.
It may depends on what -- on what we learn and the extent to which, again, this becomes part of a pattern of behavior, but it also may depend on to what extent we see the public accepting this as a -- defining this is unacceptable behavior.
ALLEN: Well, it begins this week in earnest. Ron Brownstein, we appreciate your insights. Thank you, Ron.
BROWNSTEIN: Thank you, Natalie.
ALLEN: We turn to Austria now and the preliminary results of a snap election are in. And it looks like the former chancellor will retake power. Sebastian Kurz's party won the majority of the vote Sunday four months after his government collapsed. But the victory is not enough. He still has work to do before he can govern.
ALLEN: Reclaiming his post as one of the world's youngest state leaders, 33-year-old Sebastian Kurz triumphed in Austria's parliamentary elections Sunday.
SEBASTIAN KURZ, FORMER CHANCELLOR, AUSTRIA: It's a historic day for the people's party in Austria.
ALLEN: The former chancellor and his conservative party won more than a third of the votes in Sunday snap election, triggered after scandal broke down his previous coalition government. To secure a majority in Parliament and govern once again, Kurz now faces a crucial task.
KURZ: We will try to talk before the other parties in the parliament and try to form a government that works for the people of Austria.
ALLEN: The incoming chancellor must carefully choose a new alliance after his last ended in political crisis. Kurz's former coalition partner the Freedom Party saw his leaders step down in May after secretly filmed video emerged in German media, appearing to show that then vice-chancellor in Ibiza offering government contracts to a woman who claimed to be a Russian investor. The origin of the video was unclear, but the fallout was swift. Thousands chanted snap elections now in front of Kurz's office, as he distanced himself from this scandal.
Enough is enough, Kurz said at the time, ending the controversial alliance between his Conservative Party and the far-right Freedom Party. Four months later, he appears to have emerged unscathed, but must now choose who he will join forces with.
He could turn left with the left-wing Greens, the pro-business liberal NEOs Party, or less likely the center-left Social Democrats, or he could once again go to the right with his former coalition partners. This scandal-tainted far-right Freedom Party, who have made clear their desire to govern with Kurz once again. Though they suffered a blow with the polls. The Freedom Party appears most ideologically aligned with the Kurz's People's Party, particularly in their hardline stance on immigration.
But after his victory Sunday, Kurtz was clear. No party has been ruled in or out at this next coalition, as millions of Austrians wait for their next government to form.
ALLEN: Britain's Prime Minister vows to stay on. Ahead here, the political maneuvering in the countdown to the Brexit deadline, is right around the corner.
Also, nearly one year after Jamal Khashoggi's killing, what Saudi Prince Mohammed bin Salman is saying about the U.S. journalist's murder.
ALLEN: And welcome back to NEWSROOM. Boris Johnson says he'll stay on as Britain's Prime Minister, even if he fails to secure a deal to leave the European Union. But he could face a no confidence vote next week. Opposition lawmakers are trying to replace him with an interim administration in an effort to delay Brexit.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BORIS JOHNSON, PRIME MINISTER OF THE UNITED KINGDOM: We've twice asked the Leader of the Opposition to see if he would fulfill his constitutional function and actually tried to deprive me of office and form a government. He seems to be curiously reluctant to do so.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, it may be coming soon, though.
JOHNSON: And if it does, then let's see. In fact, you may have seen the other -- the other night, I asked M.P.s on I think not just the Labour Party but all parties to see --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, they've heard you.
JOHNSON: They robbed -- they robbed and looked at their shoes.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Would you -- they've heard you now.
JOHNSON: Let's see what they do.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ALLEN: Mr. Johnson has not explained how he will bypass a law requiring him to request a Brexit delay if he doesn't come up with a deal at an E.U. summit by October 19th. He calls the measure a "surrender act". This comes, as the Prime Minister's party holds its conference in Manchester. Nina dos Santos reports for us. The push is to get on with Brexit, then focus on domestic matters.
NINA DOS SANTOS, CNN EUROPE EDITOR: They wanted to Conservative Party conference in Manchester. Got underway with pledges to get Brexit done so that the party in the country can focus on other domestic issues like, for instance, spending and public services, including the NHS, the health system, and also infrastructure. In fact, the first big policy unveil came from the Health Secretary, pledging to open 40 new hospitals. This is a mirror imaging of the kind of strategy that we saw in the 2016 E.U. referendum, during which the current Prime Minister Boris Johnson, stood in front of a bus essentially saying save money from Brussels and spend it on the health system.
But there was also a Conservative Party conference that got underway at the time, when logistically, it's going to be difficult for M.P.s to get back and forth from one part of the country to the next. This, because Parliament, after the failed attempt to prorogue it, is now still in session, and the Conservative Party hasn't managed to obtain a pause or recess to have this party conference. That means that ministers are going to have to shuttle back and forth between Manchester in the north and London in the South which is three hours away, one city from the other.
Well, back in Westminster, there are suggestions that the opposition parties might end up calling a no-confidence vote in the government, but that is looking tenuous at the moment because they can't necessarily agree on who could become the subsequent caretaker Prime Minister. All of this as Brexit goes down to the wire on October 31st. And from a personal side, Boris Johnson is also facing questions about his relationship with the U.S. internet entrepreneur, one who he was close to at the time when he was mayor of London. A Sunday Times investigation alleged that Jennifer Arcuri had potentially benefited from her proximity to the London mayor. Boris Johnson has dismissed these claims and said that everything was entirely aboveboard. Nina dos Santos, CNN, in Manchester.
(END VIDEOTAPE) ALLEN: The man who triggered the Brexit crisis says he has lots of
regrets. Former Prime Minister David Cameron called for the 2016 referendum on leaving the E.U., then resigned after the vote. He spoke with CNN's Fareed Zakaria.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
FAREED ZAKARIA, CNN INTERNATIONAL HOST: First question which you must always be asked is, do you not regret putting your country through the nightmare of this kind of Brexit drama? Should you not have just never had this referendum in the first place?
DAVID CAMERON, FORMER PRIME MINISTER OF THE UNITED KINGDOM: Well, I feel huge sadness and regrets about the situation we're in now and the difficulties we face. I mean, they will come to an end, we will solve this. But when I look back, as I do in the book, lots of regrets, the things I could have done differently, perhaps a better negotiation, perhaps a different timing. But I feel -- I felt then and I still feel now that a referendum was inevitable. There was not just growing political pressure because we'd had treaty after treaty and power after power passed from Westminster to Brussels. But also there was a genuine problem with the development of the euro, the organization we were in was changing in front of our eyes. I felt it was inevitable.
I wanted to us -- us to have a renegotiation on a referendum to try and deal with these issues and keep us in. Clearly, I failed in that endeavor, but the attempt was a genuine one.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ALLEN: The outcome of the referendum shocked Britain after 52 percent of voters chose to leave the E.U. Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman says he takes full responsibility for the murder of Jamal Khashoggi, but denies ordering the killing. Here's what he told CBS's "60 Minutes."
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
NORAH O'DONNELL, JOURNALIST, CBS'S 60 MINUTES: Did you order the murder of Jamal Khashoggi?
MOHAMMED BIN SALMAN, CROWN PRINCE, SAUDI ARABIA (through translator): Absolutely not. This was a heinous crime. But I take full responsibility as a leader in Saudi Arabia, especially since it was committed by individuals working for the Saudi government.
O'DONNELL: What does that mean that you take responsibility?
SALMAN: When a crime is committed against the Saudi citizen by officials working for the Saudi government, as a leader, I must take responsibility. This was a mistake. And I must take all actions to avoid such a thing in the future.
(END VIDEO CLIP) ALLEN: Khashoggi, a Washington Post journalist, critical of the Saudi
government was killed and dismembered after entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul last October. The CIA concluded that the Crown Prince personally ordered Khashoggi's murder. Bin Salman says if the U.S. has that information, he wants it brought forward publicly. The Saudi Crown Prince also weighed in on the September 14th attack on Saudi oil facilities. He said he agrees with U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo that it's an act of war by Iran.
Haiti's opposition groups are calling for a nationwide protests at the coming hours after months of unrest. They want the country's president to step down, as Haitians struggle with rising fuel prices and food shortages. On Saturday, a 26-year-old opposition activist was shot and killed. The opposition party blames the government for his death.
The protests in Hong Kong are starting to affect people's jobs. Some Hong Kong businesses are tightening the reins on employees who support the pro-democracy protest. You'll hear from some of the workers coming next here.
NATALIE ALLEN, CNN ANCHOR: Welcome back to CNN NEWSROOM.
I'm Natalie Allen. Here are our top stories this hour.
The U.S. President says he wants the Democratic chairman of the House Intelligence Committee questioned for fraud and treason. Donald Trump's attack on Adam Schiff comes as Democrats move forward with an impeachment inquiry. The President also says he wants to meet the whistleblower at the heart of the Ukraine scandal.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson says he will not quit even if he doesn't secure a Brexit deal from the European Union. Opposition parties are trying to unite to force a no-confidence vote possibly this week in an effort to delay Brexit.
Clothing retailer Forever 21, a fixture of shopping malls for more than three decades is filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. The company says it will close as many as 178 of its more than 800 stores as part of a restructuring plan.
Hong Kong protest organizers are canceling a march planned for Tuesday after police rejected their permit application. Lack of police permission does not always keep the crowds away as we have seen in their months' long fight for greater democracy.
Tuesday is China's national day. The 70th anniversary of the country's communist government. Hong Kong is bracing for possible violence like we saw over the weekend.
(PROTEST RALLY IN HONGKONG) ALLEN: Protesters hurled petrol bombs and bricks at police and blocked off the streets with fire and barricades. Officers responded as they do usually with tear gas and water cannons.
Will Ripley was in the middle of the chaos.
WILL RIPLEY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Here in Hong Kong riot police continue to move the frontline through the heart of this city to the area where protests began on Sunday, a very popular mall, the Sogo Mall, where protesters decided to gather despite the fact that their march was not authorized by police making any public assembly illegal here in Hong Kong and leading to a very quick police response including the water cannon right here that they've been using to fire the blue dye (ph).
Let's get across the street here as we continue to kind of follow scenes that have been playing out -- familiar scenes and yet very violent and very disturbing for people in this city on this 17th consecutive weekend of protest and just two days before, the 70th anniversary of the foundation of the people's Republic of China.
Tuesday October 1st is a day where Hong Kong police have made clear, any demonstrations are illegal. But that has not stopped these protesters from coming out here and promising to come out in larger numbers.
This is some of the propaganda that they have all over the city. These signs where they've turned the Chinese flag into the Nazi emblem. They are saying these marches are anti-ChiNazi (ph) comparing the Chinese government with Nazi Germany.
That is the anger, that is the fear that is fueling this hard core group of demonstrators -- the younger people, the radical protesters in the words of city officials who continue to come out in much smaller numbers but they're armed with petrol bombs. They are hurling bricks at officers and they are prepared for the tear gas and water cannons which inevitably come their way.
And really, as we see this playing out weekend after weekend. No end in sight here in Hong Kong.
I am Will Ripley, CNN.
ALLEN: During the past four and a half months of Hong Kong protests dozens of Cathay Pacific staffers have lost their jobs because they say they express support for the pro-democracy movement.
CNN's Andrew Stevens speaks with employees feeling what they call the white terror.
ANDREW STEVENS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Rebecca Tsai (ph) worked as cabin crew at Cathay Dragon for 17 years. It was her first and only job.
REBECCA TSAI, CABIN CREW, CATHAY PACIFIC: I really love my job. To me it's very special.
STEVENS: On August 21, Rebecca was fired.
TSAI: They asked me only one question, does this Facebook belong to you. I said yes. They immediately say I'm sorry. I have to go for the process.
Now or we announce that you're being terminated with immediate effect.
STEVENS: She SAYS she was never told why she was sacked.
TSAI: I was shocked, very disappointed, frustrated.
STEVENS: Rebecca has participated in some legal protests since a Facebook page did not violate the code of conduct --
Rebecca also represented about 2,000 Cathay Dragon Cabin crew in her union. Insists she had good relations with the company until the Hong Kong protest.
Protests which forced the airport to close canceling hundred of Cathay flight. Cathay has crackdown on staff involved in demonstrations. The airline itself is under pressure from China -- its most important market.
Beijing has banned any Cathay staff who are involved in protests from flying into China. The hardline from Cathay has had a chilling effect, say staff -- they call it white terror. This Cathay staff member who supports the protests spoke to CNN on the condition of anonymity.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: In terms of the white, I would say it feels unsafe and uncertain. (INAUDIBLE) We would not know if it is our last day today because tomorrow will come, we may not even be able to get into the building anymore.
STEVENS: Cathay recently revised its staff code of conduct which include posts on social media. Staff are told to speak up if they see a breach of the code. Employees tell CNN that dozens of workers have been fired.
In response to CNN Cathay says they don't comment on specific cases. But that dismissals are always in strict accordance with the terms of their relevant employment contracts. They added that they required to follow regulations prescribed by the authorities in mainland China. There is no ground for compromise.
And it's not just the airlines that are caught up in the protests.
LEE CHEUK YAN, HONG KONG FEDERATION OF TRADE UNIONS: It is also spreading to other sectors. It creates an atmosphere of fear among the workers that you have to be in line with the political stand of the company.
STEVENS: Many of Hong Kong's biggest companies, including its biggest bank HSBC are now publicly condemning the violent protests and calling for a peaceful resolution.
But it's clear that the protests are moving from the streets to the offices and factories of Hong Kong. In this new less defined battle line, its freedom of speech is coming under threat.
Andrew Stevens, CNN -- Hong Kong.
ALLEN: A royal surprise for students in Malawi -- the duchess of Sussex appears at a college via skype that is coming next.
ALLEN: While rugby fever may be gripping the rest of the world, the country currently hosting the World Cup has its eyes on another sport. As part of CNN's "Spirited Tokyo" series, Coy Wire takes a look at the American import that has become one of Japan's favorite pastimes.
COY WIRE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It may be America's pastime, but Tokyo takes baseball to a whole other level.
This is Tokyo's Jingu Stadium, and it is near capacity, full of fans watching the Yakult Swallows host bitter rivals the Yomiuri Giants.
Ryo Uchida (ph) is what you'd call a superfan.
Would you say that baseball in Tokyo is just as much a cultural experience as it is a sporting experience?
RYO UCHIDA, BASEBALL SUPERFAN: I would say so because every American friend that I bring here, the game is familiar to them, but this atmosphere is not.
WIRE: He is right. And you see it, even before the first pitch. Hours earlier, fans pour in by the thousands, most of them wearing team colors. Others gearing up for the night. You may not find peanuts or crackerjack but the local options are intriguing.
Takoyaki please. Takoyaki -- octopus. Only in Tokyo.
Out on the field, battle lines are drawn and the teams warm up. Then come the cheerleaders. Yes, cheerleaders. By the first inning, the stadium is roaring.
Christopher Pellegrini runs a podcast covering the Swallows whose fans claim one of the most unique traditions in all of Japanese pro baseball. This happens at the seventh inning and when the team scores.
CHRISTOPHER PELLEGRINI, CO-FOUNDER, TOKYOSWALLOWS.COM: It's a spectacle when you get this whole crowd like doing a whole dance and there's the song, of course, because there's always a song.
WIRE: Japan imported baseball from the United States over a century ago. Today, it's one of the country's most popular sports, especially given baseball's return to the Olympic games here in Tokyo.
PELLEGRINI: Everybody's sport. There's a lot of support, everybody is all in.
WIRE: It's not hard to see why, even from the outfield.
Coy Wire, CNN -- Tokyo.
ALLEN: All right. Well fans of American baseball, we've got to step up our game in the fandom land. Thanks to Coy Wire for that one.
Well, the Duchess of Sussex made a surprise appearance at a university in Malawi, even though she was thousands of miles away.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MEGHAN MARKLE, DUCHESS OF SUSSEX: Were so proud, (INAUDIBLE) that we can support you in everything you're doing, because we cannot begin to express how valuable and vital that work is. We're just incredibly proud to be a part of it.
I wish I could be with you. We're here in South Africa right now. I'm with you in spirit, and I'm just so happy and I can't wait to hear more.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ALLEN: The Skype message was part of her husband's visit to the university. Prince Harry met with young women whose education was supported by British Aid scholarships. The royal couple is on a tour of southern Africa with little Archie.
I'm Natalie Allen.
"WORLD SPORT" is up next.
Thanks so much for watching. George Howell picks things up at the top of the hour.