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Pompeo Accuses House Democrats Of Intimidation; White House Wrestles With Response To Ukraine Scandal; Police: 180 People Arrested, 25 Officers Injured; Duchess Of Sussex Sues tabloid Over Private Letter; Boris Johnson To Reveal His Plan At Conference; Ex- Policewoman Guilty of Murder in Neighbor's Death; Parents Fight to Save Brain-Damaged Daughter. Aired 1-2a ET

Aired October 2, 2019 - 01:00   ET



ROSEMARY CHURCH, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: -- morning in London. I'm Rosemary Church at CNN Center in Atlanta with the second hour of CNN NEWSROOM. Let's get started.

Intimidation tactics, Democrats and the U.S. Secretary of State accuse each other of trying to scale weaknesses in the impeachment probe of President Trump. Plus, a dangerous escalation in Hong Kong where for the first time, police have shot a protester with live ammunition.

And Boris Johnson's final offer, the British Prime Minister prepares to unveil another plan he hopes can end the Brexit deadlock.

Good to have you with us. So the U.S. State Department is facing fallout as Democrats ramp up there impeachment inquiry of U.S. President Donald Trump. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is pushing back on a subpoena and sources say the department's inspector general wants an urgent briefing on Ukraine.

He is set to meet with senior congressional staff in the coming hours. CNN's Abby Phillip has the latest from the White House.


ABBY PHILLIP, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: While President Trump continues to attack the whistleblower behind his impeachment inquiry, both on Twitter and on camera --

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: You have a whistleblower that reports things that were incorrect.

PHILLIP: His secretary of state today is pushing back on House Democrats looking to question some of his employees. In a letter, Mike Pompeo is saying Democrats are trying to intimidate, bully, and treat improperly the distinguished professionals at the Department of State.

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff today refusing to answer questions about Pompeo's letter, instead issuing this statement this afternoon along with two other committee chairman, saying Pompeo should immediately cease intimidating department witnesses in order to protect himself and the President.

Meanwhile, Ukrainian President Zelensky whose phone call with President Trump triggered the investigation, now trying to distance himself from the controversy, insisting that he never met with Trump's personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani, and denying that he was pressured by Trump to investigate Biden.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Did you feel pressure from President Trump to investigate the Biden's in order to unfreeze military aid?

VOLODYMYR ZELENSKY, PRESIDENT OF UKRAINE (through translator): I'd like to tell you that I never feel pressure.

PHILLIP: All this as the President's defenders follow his lead in trying to disparage the whistleblower's credibility.

RUDY GIULIANI, LAWYER OF DONALD TRUMP: The thing is filled with I don't know, I heard, I overheard. There's not a single time he says I know.

PHILLIP: Trump's other personal lawyer Jay Sekulow arguing the president didn't break the law.

JAY SEKULOW, LAWYER OF DONALD TRUMP: What was the rule, regulation statute that was violated in the conversation that the President had with the president of Ukraine? None, nothing.

PHILLIP: And there are some Trump allies who are worried that the White House was not adequately prepared for this fast-moving impeachment inquiry. And while CNN has learned that there are no plans as of right now for a war room to be established, we've also learned that the President's aides are expected to present him with a response plan as soon as this week. Abby, Phillip, CNN, the White House.


CHURCH: And for more, I'm joined from Los Angeles by Jessica Levinson. She is a Professor of Law at Loyola Law School. Good to have you with us.


CHURCH: So we now know the U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was listening in on that controversial phone call where President Trump asked Ukraine's President Zelensky to investigate his political rival Joe Biden and his son. And yet Mr. Pompeo is accusing Democrats of trying to intimidate and bully State Department officials to give depositions on questions surrounding that call.

The three Democratic chairs are pushing back accusing Pompeo of intimidating those witnesses to protect himself and the president. What is going on here and does this amount to obstruction of the impeachment inquiry?

LEVINSON: What is going on here is that this is why I think Americans and viewers worldwide hate politics is because there's mudslinging, there's recalcitrance, there's frankly actions that you wouldn't want to see in a three-year-old.

So, what we're seeing here is Secretary Pompeo essentially trying to do I think what the administration really wants to happen in this impeachment inquiry, which is to try and block it, to try and do what they've been doing throughout the impeachment investigation, which obviously has been ongoing for a few months now, which is to say, no, we're not responding to any subpoenas, basically, try and catch me if you can.

And what the democratic chair, as you've said, have warned his will this is actually obstruction of justice, because now we're in an official impeachment inquiry. And to the extent that you try and stall and or refuse to comply with that, we could charge you with obstruction of justice.

I mean, that is true. I think this is exactly what the American public didn't want, which is this just dissolving into partisan bickering. But this is well within Congress' oversight discretion to call the Secretary --obviously, he's a key witness, to ask him and his subordinates what they heard. And it looks like the Trump administration is continuing to do what's been doing, which is to just block, block, block.


CHURCH: And Meantime, President Trump is trying to uncover the identity of the whistleblower in this and insists that because the information provided is not based on first-hand knowledge of events, then it has no value. Of course, we know that's not true. Why the President and Senator Lindsey Graham not know that?

LEVINSON: I don't know if it's not know that or if it's just want to ignore that. Because I think that what the President has done throughout this defense of the impeachment inquiry is just essentially try and throw a lot of things out, make this sound like a tainted biased inquiry, or as he likes to call it a witch hunt, and then hope that one of them sticks.

There's a couple things that obviously are pretty dangerous with respect to his approach to the whistleblower. One is that there's a reason whistleblowers have protection. They take great risks to themselves to go through the proper channels to say I have observed wrongdoing and somebody needs to investigate that.

The other thing is, obviously hearsay is a legal term we use for add of court statements used to prove the truth of the matter sorted. What matters here isn't whether or not the whistleblower had first- hand knowledge. What matters is whether or not the words written on the whistleblower's complaint can be corroborated whether or not they're true. And so it doesn't matter who was in the room. It matters if these things happened. CHURCH: Right. And of course, as we just reported, the State Department Inspector General, is requesting an urgent Capitol Hill briefing Wednesday afternoon on Ukraine documents. What are you learning about this and what's likely to come out of this unusual meeting, we have to say?

LEVINSON: It's very unusual. And I mean, to be honest, I think at this point, it's lots of guessing as to why they've called this urgent meeting. I mean, I think what the Inspector General really wants to do is to assure that when whistleblower accounts -- when whistleblower complaints do come forward, that the proper processes are followed, that their identities are protected, and that, you know, frankly, we have a problem here with the Inspector General in the sense that the Inspector General reviewed a complaint and said it's urgent and credible.

And then we have a Department of Justice that for reasons that we don't yet know, said, no, we don't find it urgent and the Criminal Division of Department Justice saying, we're not even going to open an inquiry. I think the Inspector General's office is running out of patience and I think they're very worried about what they see in terms of how the executive branch is responding to these congressional subpoenas.

CHURCH: Jessica Levinson, I always appreciate your legal analysis. Many thanks to you.

LEVINSON: Thank you.

CHURCH: A U.S. official is confirming that North Korea test-fired a ballistic missile on Wednesday and it was launched from an underwater platform. This comes just a day after Washington and Pyongyang agreed to restart nuclear talks this weekend.

A U.S. official tells CNN, this latest test is not a surprise. North Korea has conducted a series of missile tests recently rattling its neighbors. U.S. President Trump has downplayed their significance but his former National Security Advisor disagrees. Here's what John Bolton said about North Korean leader Kim Jong-un on Monday.


JOHN BOLTON, FORMER NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISER: He may try to get relief from international sanctions, he may make some concessions, but under current circumstances, people never give up the nuclear weapons voluntarily.


CHURCH: Bolton added that it's unacceptable for North Korea to have nuclear weapons. I want to turn to Hong Kong now. And police are defending their decision to use live ammunition on pro-democracy protesters. An 18-year-old man is hospitalized in serious but stable condition after an officer shot him. CNN's Ivan Watson has more.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) IVAN WATSON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: On the streets of Hong Kong, a familiar scene, running battles between police and protesters. Tens of thousands of people to find a protest ban taking to the streets sparking violent clashes across the city. Protesters lobbed firebombs at police.

Authorities returned fire with tear gas, water cannon, and for the first time since the protest movement ramped up four months ago, lethal force. This video appears to show the moment a protester is shot by a police officer with live ammunition moments after he attacks the officer with a pole. Police say they warrant the attacker before firing.


YOLANDA YU HOI-KWAN, SPOKESWOMAN, HONG KONG POLICE (through translator): The police officer's lives were under serious threat. To save his life and his colleagues' lives, he fired a live shot at the assailant. An 18-year-old man was shot.

WATSON: By nightfall, the situation remains tense. The riot police have moved in and clashed repeatedly with demonstrators. And now you have these angry scenes where they're being pursued through the streets of this international financial hub by furious citizens.

People are calling them all sorts of insults and police are threatening to use force yet again.

According to police, about half of the city's 18 districts were affected by Tuesday's clashes with officers making a series of arrests. The day was supposed to be a moment of celebration for Chinese authorities marking the 70th anniversary of communist rule. But the flag-raising ceremony had to be held behind tight security as protesters held so-called day of grief rallies outside.

And as the day wore on, tensions escalated, culminating in yet another show of defiance by protesters and an increasingly hard-line approach from police with neither side willing to back down. There's no clear exit ramp to the cycle of confrontation that has paralyzed this city.

The scenes of chaos and anger are an embarrassment to the ruling Communist Party in mainland China which tolerates no signs of dissent whatsoever in the mainland. Ivan Watson CNN, Hong Kong.


CHURCH: So let's go live now to Hong Kong and CNN's Will Ripley who was out among the protesters throughout that day. Good to see you again, Will. So what more are you learning about those violent scenes that have played out on the streets of Hong Kong Tuesday, and of course, the latest on the 18-year-old protester who was shot?

WILL RIPLEY, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: He is essentially a high school student. 18 years old goes to this secondary school here in the new territories which is the part of Hong Kong that's closer to the mainland than pretty much anywhere else and has been the scene of violence and clashes and it's a place where some young people feel they are on the front lines fighting for their future and the future of Hong Kong and the freedom that they cherish, including the freedom to go out and demonstrate.

But of course, the demonstrations yesterday were not the largely peaceful events that we've seen time and time again this summer. It was a small group. Things degenerated into violence. Violence that I would argue in some cases the protesters were looking for. They were looking for confrontation with police. We saw them pulling up their bricks and loading up their bags and putting Molotov cocktails, petrol bombs, you know, on standby ready to hurl at the officers.

And Hong Kong Police have been warning for a while that they might start having to use the live rounds to defend the safety of officers. And in this case, there is a video of this shooting that shows the moments before. It shows a police officer on the ground in some sort of physical fight with a protester. It shows a protester waving what looks like a metal pole at the officer just before the shooting.

And so you have Hong Kong Police saying that this is -- this was an entirely justified use of force even though there is criticism certainly from the protests -- the protest side of things, but even from the U.K. government saying that, you know, to shoot an 18 year- old on armed or at least unarmed in terms of a gun, a protester -- a protester might have been brandishing something that he picked up off the street, that that is a disproportionate show of force.

The one good news that we can report, Rosemary, at this stage is that the protester who was injured is in stable condition and expected to recover after undergoing surgery at the hospital here in Hong Kong.

CHURCH: Yes. I mean, one has to think that there is an alternative to live ammunition on protesters, certainly young people like this. Where is the off-ramp here? I mean, how is the Hong Kong government going to figure this out?

RIPLEY: To your point about there's an alternative, we believe the officer who fired this shot actually was carrying non-lethal ammunition. He had -- he had a rifle on him that was shooting out either rubber bullets or beanbags. The police chief is saying that it was such a quick kind of spur of the moment decision that the police officer made again defending his actions.


But in terms of the Hong Kong government, they face a really tough predicament here because, you know, Carrie Lam, the Chief Executive, who introduced that extradition bill that kind of triggered all of this. She had that that the community dialogue last week. I have to tell you the disconnect between being inside that building with, you know, an audience of 130 pre-selected people who were very polite and very quiet and she's sitting on stage.

And then you can hear the large crowds outside shouting every expletive in the book at her through the walls in the studio where they were, you know, filming this thing. It just goes to show a real disconnect between the situation on the streets and the bubble that the people who run this city are living in. And until they can find a way to bridge that divide, I don't see a way out of this barring something significant and dramatic changing on neither the protest side or the city government side.

CHURCH: Yes. And that is a real concern. Will Ripley bringing us that live report from the streets of Hong Kong. Many thanks.

We'll take a short break here. Still to come, The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are furious after a British tabloid published a private letter. Details on what they're doing about it, that's next. And Britain's Prime Minister prepares to outline his plan for ending the Brexit impasse. The details when we come back.



CHURCH: Welcome back, everyone. A royal battle could be brewing in British courts. The Duchess of Sussex is suing The Mail on Sunday for publishing a private letter and her husband, Prince Harry, accuses the paper of editing that letter to hide so-called lies The Mail had told about the Duchess. He's also calling out British tabloids for bullying his wife and compares it to his mother, Princess Diana's, treatment by the media. He writes this, "Unfortunately, my wife has become one of the latest victims of a British tabloid press that wages campaigns against individuals with no thought to the consequences. A ruthless campaign that has escalated over the past year throughout her pregnancy and while raising our newborn son."

The Mail newspaper has responded saying quote, "The Mail on Sunday stands by the story it published and will be defending this case vigorously. Specifically, we categorically deny that the Duchess's letter was edited in any way that changed its meaning."

Reuters reports in just a few hours, Britain's Prime Minister is to reveal his Brexit plan to his Conservative Party conference. Irish broadcaster RTE reported Britain would set up customs clearance centers on both sides of the Irish border to avoid checks at the border itself. But the Telegraph reports Mr. Johnson's proposal will simply leave Northern Ireland aligned with the European Union until 2025. Then, Belfast decides what to do. Well, for more on this, CNN's European affairs commentator Dominic Thomas joins us now from Los Angeles. Good to see you.


CHURCH: So, Prime Minister Boris Johnson will soon reveal his Brexit plan, but as we just told our viewers, some details have already leaked out, we don't really know which is right, which isn't. But according to the Irish broadcaster RTE, the Prime Minister's plan involves this customs clearance centers several miles from the Northern Ireland and Irish border on both sides of the border, removing the biggest challenge, presumably, the backstop. So, how would that work? And how's that likely to be received by his Conservative Party if indeed, that is what he's planning to do? He has denied it?

THOMAS: Yes, well, the big toss that Boris Johnson has ahead tomorrow is not just to convince the Conservative Party because, of course, he has in mind the general election as to whether or not he's actually going to be able to deliver Brexit. And the whole Conservative Party conference is really about being -- getting Brexit done. This is what all the signs around the convention have been announcing. And then also, really, what he's got to try and convince people of is that he is actually really genuinely trying to get some kind of deal out of the European Union. And that this is just not one other simple further step for him to blame the E.U. if this fails, in the same way that he's been blaming the Parliament and the U.K. courts thus far.

If at any point in his speech, or if at any of his speech starts to sound like there is a threat to the Good Friday Agreement, or that somehow rather Northern Ireland will end up in some kind of different alignment than Scotland, Wales, and/or England, or if there is a mention, as there has already been of some kind of timeframe or timeline, maybe all the way to 2025, which are precisely the reasons why the European Union negotiated this question of the backstop, all these will be not only red lines, but will be unacceptable to the Republic of Ireland, and the Republic of Ireland will, of course, speak to the other -- the remaining E.U. 26 to convince them that this is absolutely unacceptable. And they will be unwilling, therefore, to strike a deal with Boris Johnson.

One last thing on that, of course, is I actually think that even if he was able to get some kind of deal from the European Union, the British Parliament has moved on from that. Boris Johnson has lost his majority. And there is no appetite for supporting Boris Johnson in delivering some kind of Brexit. What ultimately they want is to make sure that there is not a no-deal come the 31st, and that ultimately, there will be an election, a general election held on the terms of those who currently control Parliament.

CHURCH: So, what's your sense of what he might reveal when he announced this? Do you think that the Telegraph or the RTE are anywhere close to revealing in there, the supposed leaks what might be ahead?


THOMAS: Well, I think they are because ultimately, there's very little else that one could even imagine him really coming up with. So, many of these different scenarios have been rehearsed over the -- over the previous years. And the fact remains that if one is going to protect the Good Friday Agreement and treat the Ireland of Ireland in the same way as the remaining countries of the United Kingdom, it is actually -- it's just physically impossible to do that, without there being some kind of border put in place. And that is ultimately going to be yet again what plagues these Brexit negotiations.

Ultimately, as one goes down the road here, the only way to resolve this, is to hold some kind of referendum or general election to determine and to check the pulse of the people on this. But if Boris Johnson starts talking about treating Northern Ireland differently, holding them in a single market, or having something that violates the terms of the backstop, this is not going to make its way through Parliament, and is therefore whatever the deal he brings back from the E.U. will simply not be palatable.

CHURCH: Right. And of course, you know, you mentioned those dates, Brexit deadline October 31st. That's fast approaching. The E.U. summit for striking a Brexit deal less than three weeks away. So, how is Mr. Johnson going to figure this out? How is the E.U. likely to respond to what appears to be old ideas?

THOMAS: Well, absolutely. And as far as the European Union is concerned, they negotiated in good faith. Remember, there were 27 of them that are absolutely unambiguously united in supporting the current withdrawal agreement. And as it -- as it exists, it is not in their interest to negotiate with what they see as essentially being a small Brexiteer group that brought Boris Johnson to power, they don't feel like it automatically, that his vision of Brexit at least represents the will and -- of the British people. And so, there is no incentive for them. I think, ultimately, for Boris Johnson, and this is where things get so complicated is that even if the opposition or Parliament ends up ousting him, paradoxically, this could work in his favor. Not only has he been trying all along to make it absolutely clear that it is the Conservative Party that stands for Brexit. And he's willing to take that to a general election and has been calling for that.

But ultimately, if he was ousted and a caretaker government wants to take over, and a caretaker government with Jeremy Corbyn and at the helm, in some ways, you could argue that would be a dream scenario, because this divisive figure would allow the conservative parties to attack them on those particular and strategic points. And ultimately, those that won't remain will leave the Labour and go towards the Liberal Democrats. Some of the softer conservatives will go towards them as well. And it is the Conservative Party that will -- that will emerge paradoxically, as I said, with the greatest number of votes. And so, Boris Johnson here really has very little to lose. And many people question just how genuine he and his Brexiteer cabinet are as they talk about going back to the European Union.

CHURCH: Right. We'll see what's revealed in the coming hours. But you know, we seem to be going around in circles with this, but maybe there's a turning point just around the corner. We'll see. Dominic Thomas, many thanks to you for your analysis. Appreciate it.

THOMAS: Thanks, Rosemary.

CHURCH: And time for a short break. When we come back, doctors say nothing can save a brain damaged five-year-old-girl. But her parents will not give up. What they're asking from a British High Court. Back with that.



CHURCH: Welcome back, everyone. You are watching CNN NEWSROOM.

I'm Rosemary Church.

Want to check the headlines for you this hour.

The Inspector General at the U.S. State Department wants an urgent briefing on Ukraine with congressional staff. Sources tell CNN they will meet in the coming hours. Now this comes as Secretary of State Mike Pompeo faces a subpoena from House Democrats in the impeachment inquiry into the U.S. President. Both sides accuses the other side of witness intimidation.

A protester shot by police in Hong Kong is hospitalized in serious but stable condition. It happened during a violent day of clashes on Tuesday. Police say the man was arrested for assaulting an officer. This is the first time in months of protests that police have used live ammunition.

The Duchess of Sussex is suing "The Mail" on Sunday, for publishing a private letter. And Prince Harry accuses the paper of editing that letter to hide so-called lies "The Mail" had told about the Duchess. He's also calling out British tabloids for bullying his wife, comparing it to his mother Princess Diana's treatment by the media. "The Mail" says it stands by the story.

Well, a jury in Dallas has convicted a white ex-police woman of murder in the shooting death of her black neighbor. Amber Guyger shot and killed Botham Jean when she walked into his apartment. She said she had just come off a long shift of work, and mistook his apartment for her own.

The case drew national attention, some saying it was another example of a white police officer, shooting an unarmed black man.

Jurors were given the option of finding her guilty of the lesser offense of manslaughter but chose murder.

Guyger says she is devastated.


AMBER GUYGER, EX-DALLAS POLICE OFFICER: I feel like a piece of crap.

I hated that I have to live with this every single day.

I ask god for forgiveness. I hate myself every single day.

ALLISON JEAN, SON FATALLY SHOT: My life has not been the same. It's just been like a rollercoaster. I cannot sleep. I cannot eat. It's -- it's just been the most a terrible time.


CURNOW: The jury is to listen to testimony from character witnesses before issuing a sentence. A British high court judge is expected to make a decision this week, in a heartbreaking case. Doctor says a brain-damaged five-year-old girl has no chance of recovery, but her parents refused to give up.

CNN producer Milena Veselinovic has this story.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Here I am. here I am.


MILENA VESELINOVIC, CNN PRODUCER: Tafida Raqeeb was a joyful little girl. But in February she collapsed after blood vessels in her brain ruptured leaving her severely brain-damaged.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Good morning -- Tafida.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Tafida went to sleep a healthy, bubbly child. I put her to bed. The next morning, Tafida woke up complaining of her head hurting in various places.

And this wouldn't (INAUDIBLE). She stopped breathing.

VESELINOVIC: The five-year-old is on life support at the Royal London Hospital where doctors say she has no chance of getting better.


VESELINOVIC: But her parents says they have seen signs of improvement and want to move Tafida to a renowned children's hospital in Italy, a move blocked by U.K. medics who say it may not in her best interest.

BEGUM: I'll say to the doctors looking and you're courting (ph) up, you could lose here.

Rehabilitations, various therapies -- that's not to see their needs at the moment. She's just complying (ph) to events.

VESELINOVIC: The dispute has escalated to the high court, where Tafida's parents are petitioning the judge to allow her transferred to Italy. In turn, the London hospital has applied to have Tafida's life support withdrawn.

BEGUM: I'm not allowed to take her out. I cannot cuddle her.

They want me to sign that form to say that I agree that if anything happens, they are not going to do the CPR. I said no, I'd rather not pick her up. I have not actually picked my daughter up for the last -- you know, she's been there since April.

VESELINOVIC: The hospital told CNN in a statement, their staff had much sympathy for Tafida and her family. They added, our expert clinicians caring for Tafida considers in discussion with medical experts from specialist centers in England and Italy that further medical treatment would not improve her condition, and would not be in her best interests.

Tafida's parents say that the hospital is breaching her E.U. rights of movement by not allowing her to travel to Italy. But at a core of this tragic case is the question, who has the right to decide when a seriously ill child should be allowed to die?

The court heard that Tafida could live up to 20 more years on life support. Experts warn that that could be a fraught existence.

DOMINIC WILKINSON, PROFESSOR OF MEDICAL ETHICS, OXFORD UNIVERSITY: The things that we do to keep people alive in intensive care are not pleasant. There are tubes and tests, needles and those are worth doing if there's a prospect of that individual recovering but sometimes that we have to offer can do nothing but delay the inevitable and prolong an individual's suffering.

VESELINOVIC: Tafida's family a crowd funding to meet the spiraling costs including legal bills. Her mother says she accepts her daughter's condition might not improve but that she's not ready to give up hope yet.

BEGUM: My son comes and visit Tafida. We will say to her -- to say that we're not going to give up on you. Tafida even when mummy and daddy passes away.


BEGUM: The fight will continue to look after you. I will be there for you -- Tafida.

VESELINOVIC: It now falls on the judge to make the hard decision, on this little girl's fate.

Milena Veselinovic, CNN, London.


CHURCH: We'll be back in just a moment.




COY WIRE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: They say the shoes make the man. But if you ask the man who helped define cool for an entire generation of sneaker heads in Japan -- that's nonsense.

HOMMYO HIDEFUMI, SNEAKER HEAD: I don't judge people in that way.

WIRE: His name is Homyyo Hidefumi (ph) -- the self-described OG of modern footwear culture in Japan. The 51-year-old opened one of Tokyo's first boutique sneaker shops in 2000.

HIDEFUMI: When I first started I really had no money. Every year, I went to America about nine or 10 times, bought cheap shoes and sold them over here.

WIRE: Young Japanese embraced sneakers as a status symbol. Giving birth to an underground sub-culture influenced by American hip-hop.

Today, sneaker culture is mainstream; and Tokyo, the top destination provider. Customers still line up outside any of Homyyo's 25 Japan stores to get limited edition releases.

This man owns 150 pairs.

DAISUKE SHINOHARA, SNEAKERHEAD: My collection keeps on getting bigger and bigger over time.

WIRE: They're waiting for exclusive Air Maxes with animal prints -- a collaboration between Nike and British Artist Dave White.

DAVE WHITE: They're only available here in Tokyo, Japan. So it's anything that's scarce. Anything that's put on the picture of a few hundred pairs -- the sneaker has going.

COY: This is another at most Nike Collab, the safari version of the Lebron 16 as in Lebron James, the famous American basketball player.

So for serious sneakerheads, shoes are about so much more than just style and comfort, they're about culture and identity and the shoes don't even have to be new..

This shop sells vintage sneakers, many with price tags int eh thousands.

What is the most expensive pair of shoes you have in here?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This model, 5 million.

WIRE: 5 million.


WIRE: Wow.

Business he tells me is booming --

For Homyyo it's not so much about the money.

HIDEFUMI: One of my goals is to use sneakers as a way to spread culture to others.

WIRE: One step at a time.

Coy Wire, CNN -- Tokyo.


CHURCH: Well, maybe it takes a real fashion model to spot a fake one. A French comedian crashed the runway at Chanel's show at Paris fashion week. She joined a parade of models walking the runway before Gigi Hadid confronted her and escorted her away.

Last week the same comedian crashed the runway show of a lingerie brand. She wouldn't explain how she dodged security this time, but she said she did it because Chanel is eternal.

Well, a woman in New York is lucky to be alive after trespassing inside a lion enclosure at the Bronx zoo. In this video, the woman can be seen raising her hands, taunting the lion. She doesn't appear to be concerned. It's not known how she got over the barrier or how long she was actually in there.

Zoo officials say she put herself in serious danger. And they are filing a complaint with police. Neither the woman nor the lion were injured.

And thank you so much for watching CNN NEWSROOM. I am Rosemary Church.

World Sports just after this short break.