Return to Transcripts main page

CNN NEWSROOM

Family Grieves For 20-Year-Old Killed During Protest; Thousands Of Kenyans Pretend To Be Somalis; Eleven Elephants Killed Falling From Thai Waterfall; Physics Laureates "Changed Conceptions Of The World". Aired 2-3a ET

Aired October 9, 2019 - 02:00   ET

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


[02:00:00]

(MUSIC PLAYING)

ROSEMARY CHURCH, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): Hello and welcome to CNN NEWSROOM. It's 7:00 am in London, 9:00 am in Nairobi. From CNN headquarters in Atlanta, I am Rosemary Church, with you, for 90 minutes of CNN NEWSROOM, let's get started.

An impeachment inquiry standoff in Washington. The Trump administration blocked a key witness from testifying and House Democrats responded with more subpoenas.

Turkish forces are at the Syrian border just days after U.S. president announced he's pulling troops from the area. We have more news and what the now vulnerable Kurdish have to. Say

Talks break down with just three works to go. Britain's prospects for a deal with the E.U. are fading.

(MUSIC PLAYING)

CHURCH: Good to have you with us. So U.S. president Donald Trump could be staring down another court battle as Democrats push ahead with their impeachment inquiry. The White House is refusing to cooperate, even put their refusal in writing, in a letter sent to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and other top Democrats on Tuesday.

As a further sign of things to come, the State Department has blocked Mr. Trump's E.U. ambassador from testifying. Democrats responded by hitting Gordon Sondland with a subpoena, he's emerged a central figurein the usdal, over a serious of controversial texts.

Now the White House claims the inquiry is illegitimate and is all but daring Nancy Pelosi to make a formal vote to make it official. The House Speaker has resisted so far and continues to call out President Trump's behavior.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REP. NANCY PELOSI (D-CA), HOUSE SPEAKER: The president is obstructing Congress from getting the facts that we need. It is an abuse of power for him to act in this way and that is one of the reasons that we have an impeachment inquiry.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CHURCH: A source familiar with the White House strategy to defy the inquiry says all options are on the table, CNN's Jim Acosta has the latest from the White House.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: It's a fraud.

JIM ACOSTA, CNN CHIEFWHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Escalating his standoff with House Democrats, President Trump is refusing to cooperate with the impeachment inquiry.

In a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, the White House accuses Democrats of trying to play politics, stating, "Your unprecedented actions have left the president with no choice.

"In order to fulfill his duties to the American people, the Constitution, the executive branch and all future occupants of the office of the presidency, President Trump and his administration cannot participate in your partisan and unconstitutional inquiry under these circumstances."

A key signal the White House is ready for combat, the administration block the U.S. ambassador to the European Union, Gordon Sondland, from telling what he knows about the president's phone call with the leader of Ukraine about Joe Biden.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was mum on the subject.

QUESTION: Mr. Secretary, why did you instruct Ambassador Sondland not to testify?

ACOSTA: House Democrats warn, White House stonewalling won't make their inquiry go away.

REP. ADAM SCHIFF (D-CA), CHAIR, HOUSE INTELLIGENCE COMMITTEE: The failure to produce this witness, the failure to produce these documents, we consider yet additional strong evidence of obstruction of obstruction of the constitutional functions of Congress, a co-equal branch of government.

ACOSTA: The president tweeted: "Sondland won't be testifying. I would love to send Ambassador Sondland, a really good man and a great American, to testify, but, unfortunately, he would be testifying before a totally compromised kangaroo court," an echo of GOP talking points.

REP. MATT GAETZ (R-FL): What we see in this impeachment is a kangaroo court. And Chairman Schiff is acting like a malicious Captain Kangaroo.

ACOSTA: A source familiar with internal White House discussions said the decision to silence Sondland is part of a new aggressive counter- impeachment strategy.

That source told CNN -- quote -- "The days of playing nice are done."

The defiant posture comes even as the president continues to insist his call was perfect.

TRUMP: The people understand it's a scam. They're trying to win an election in 2020 by using impeachment. If you look at that call, it's a perfect call.

ACOSTA: Democrats are zeroing in on an exchange of texts between Sondland and a top U.S. diplomat in Ukraine, Bill Taylor, who appeared worried that the administration was holding up aid to Ukraine around the time of Mr. Trump's July 25 call.

"As I said on the phone, I think it's crazy to withhold security assistance for help with a political campaign."

[02:05:00]

ACOSTA (voice-over): Sondland replied: "Bill, I believe you're incorrect about President Trump's intentions. The president has been crystal clear no quid pro quos of any kind. I suggest we stop the back and forth by text."

Before Sondland sent that response, he called the president.

CNN has learned White House and national security officials scrambled to contain the fallout of Mr. Trump's comments on the call, including moving the rough transcript of the conversation to a more secure system.

Fellow Republicans see no wrongdoing.

REP. JIM JORDAN (R-OH): The president is doing his job. The president -- when you're talking about the hard-earned tax dollars of the American people going to a foreign government, the president's going to make sure that there is no corruption there.

ACOSTA: Still, a new "Washington Post" poll found 58 percent agree that the impeachment inquiry should have begun, a huge jump from over the summer.

Trump ally Senator Lindsey Graham is calling on the president's personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani to talk to lawmakers. Giuliani's response: "Love Lindsey, but I am still a lawyer and I will have to deal with privilege."

For now, Democrats sound like they want to hear from Sondland first.

REP. ADRIANO ESPAILLAT (D-NY): This is sort of like classical Nixon- type Watergate action, which is that the cover-up often becomes even worse than the crime itself. So the White House and the State Department continued to orchestrate this massive cover-up by stopping witnesses that had actually prepared to testify. ACOSTA: CNN has also confirmed the whistleblower at the center of the inquiry wrote a memo describing a White House official who listened in on Mr. Trump's conversation with the Ukrainian president and characterizes that conversations as, quote, "crazy and frightening" -- Jim Acosta, CNN, the White House.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

CHURCH: Joining me here in the studio is Neil Kinkopf. He is a law professor at Georgia State University and was counselor for then Senator Joe Biden during the Clinton impeachment trial.

Good to have you with. Us

NEIL KINKOPF, GEORGIA STATE UNIVERSITY: Thank you.

CHURCH: Clearly your area of expertise is impeachment, I do want to start with that, 8-page letter, the White House sent to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Tuesday, saying, it will not cooperate with impeachment inquiry of President Trump and insisting that the, probe violates the Constitution, the rule of law and every past precedent.

What is your legal response to that?

Can a president refused to be involved in his own impeachment inquiry?

KINKOPF: With respect to the letter, I would say every word of it is wrong. The impeachment inquiry is completely consistent with the Constitution, with every jot and tittle of its text and with all past precedent. There is nothing at all, that's even vaguely, impermissible the, House is doing.

With respect to the president stonewalling and refusal to participate in the inquiry, I suppose he has that prerogative. But then the House has a number of responses they can take to that stonewalling.

First of all, they can regard his refusal to answer questions as an admission. So hold that against him.

Secondly, they can regard his refusal to participate itself as an act of obstruction of Congress, and a separate ground for impeachment.

Thirdly I think, most importantly, the president stonewalling, is something that offends norms of governance, held by both political parties. They violate fundamental commitments of government that transcend party affiliations.

In particular, it will make it difficult for the future for Republican Congresses to hold Democratic presidents accountable. While Donald Trump, any individual, incumbent president may not care so much about what happens to successors, certainly members of Congress will worry about what they will be able to do when subsequent administration come in.

CHURCH: So why do you think his lawyers have advised him to take this route, send this letter to Nancy Pelosi, basically saying we're not participating?

KINKOPF: First of all it may well be because there is so much to hide, so it's easier to defend the unknown, than to defend what they know is hiding there. That is one theory of possibility.

Another possibility is that they're rallying the base and setting up Congress as the president's opponent so it's time for the team to rally together and to oppose Congress. It could be either of that. We just don't know.

CHURCH: So this 8-page letter came after we found out, that the president and the White House had blocked the E.U. ambassador, the U.S. ambassador to the E.U., Gordon Sondland from testifying.

[02:10:00]

CHURCH: President Trump called it a kangaroo court, so when you look at a situation like that, because Sondland would be able to reveal so much details from that call, President Trump had with Ukraine's President Zelensky, whether indeed, a quid pro quo was involved, what was said about, Joe Biden for instance.

That has been blocked at this point, Democrats have issued more subpoenas, what is the next legal step here?

KINKOPF: The next legal step will be to issue an actual subpoena for Sondland. Today's appearance was not pursuant to a subpoena, it was an agreed upon testimony. So they will subpoena and if Sondland again refuses to attend --

CHURCH: He says he wants to. But it's the Trump administration, the White House that say, no, they are the ones that blocking. It

KINKOPF: So he will have to decide to obey President Trump or do I comply with the subpoena. The subpoena is legally valid, if Sondland does not comply with, then Congress will go to court, and a court will order him to appear.

At that point, if he continues to obey the order from Trump and not to appear, he will be in contempt of court and will find himself very quickly in jail.

CHURCH: So what timeline are we talking about?

Going to court and he would want to get legal advice?

KINKOPF: I think we would see that all heard on a fairly expedited basis, there are no facts in dispute with him being subpoenaed and testifying, so a court would be able to hear and decide that issue very quickly, whether Congress is entitled to that testimony, which they are.

CHURCH: So you are saying, ultimately it all will be revealed?

KINKOPF: Someone has to testify, he will be forced to reveal what he knows. That is certainly not all, there's much more to be found and the president will try to stonewall on eah of those and delay.

Ultimately that seems to be his strategy, to delay to the point where we are getting into next year, then the president can say it's 2020, there is an election scheduled for this year, let's litigate this to the public before the election, instead of an impeachment.

CHURCH: Right we shall, see so many twists and turns, thank you professor for joining us.

KINKOPF: It's been my pleasure.

CHURCH: A spokesman for the Turkish government said its military will cross into Northern Syria shortly to rid the area of ISIS terrorists. But Kurdish fighters say Turkey shelling its positions along the border that ISIS fighters have attacked them in raka and they're are calling for a no-fly zone over northern Syria. All, this comes, as U.S. president announces he's pointing out American troops, CNN's Clarissa Ward has more.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

CLARISSA WARD, CNN CHIEF INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): A show of force from Turkey today with heavy military machinery and personnel along the border of Syria. As it prepares a possible strike on areas controlled by a key U.S. ally, Syrian Kurds.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We can come any night without warning.

WARD (voice-over): The Kurds have been left exposed after President Trump announced U.S. forces in the area, are being withdrawn. Today the former top U.S. general of the Middle East, Joseph Votel, writing in "The Atlantic," said, "The abrupt policy decision to seemingly abandon our Kurdish partners could not come at a worse time."

GEN. JOSEPH VOTEL, FORMER CENTCOM COMMANDER: For me the overall sentiment is one of disappointment that we're letting down our partners, perhaps adding to the humanitarian disaster in this region.

WARD (voice-over): A sentiment echoed by the Kurdish leaders.

ABDULKARIM OMAR, KURDISH FOREIGN RELATIONS COMMISSION (through translator): This more or green light that Trump gave to Erdogan will actually complicate the crisis in the region and will provide the Islamic State with an opportunity to regenerate and control areas such as raka and Deir ez-Zor.

WARD (voice-over): With Trump's usual allies in Republican Party now condemning his decision, the president took to Twitter again, to defend pulling U.S. forces out of the area.

"We may be in the process of leaving Syria," he said, "but in no way have we abandoned the Kurds, who are special people and wonderful fighters."

TRUMP: We've told Turkey, I spoke to President Erdogan of Turkey, and I said got to treat them good. WARD (voice-over): He said the decision to withdraw the last U.S. troops from Syria is firm, the question is what happens next and whether the warnings to President Erdogan will be enough to stop Turkey from launcing an all-out asault on one of the key U.S. allies in the region.

[02:15:00]

WARD (voice-over): Clarissa Ward, CNN, Irbil.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

CHURCH: There is a new round of finger pointing on the Brexit deadlock, we will hear the harsh words exchanged between the prime minister of Britain and the European Union.

Plus, the National Basketball Association is facing backlash from China over a controversial tweet but the NBA commissioner said his decision to stand up to Beijing, is a business risk, he is willing to take. More on that when we return.

(MUSIC PLAYING)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(MUSIC PLAYING)

CHURCH: Brexit negotiations appear on the brink of collapse with the relations between the British prime minister and the European Union taking a hostile turn. Boris Johnson blames the lack of progress on German chancellor Angela Merkel and her insistence that Northern Ireland remain in the E.U. customs union.

In response European Council president Donald Tusk accused Mr. Johnson of playing what he caught "a stupid blame game," with no intention of concluding a deal. For more on this, we turn to Thom Brooks, a professor of law and government at Durham University in England.

Good to have you with us.

THOM BROOKS, DURHAM LAW SCHOOL: Great to be back, Rosemary.

CHURCH: So Brexit negotiations appear to be falling apart, Britain's prime minister Boris Johnson blaming Germany's Angela Merkel, the European Council president, accusing Mr. Johnson of playing what he calls a stupid blame game.

Is that what is going on here?

Is Mr. Johnson hurtling toward a no-deal Brexit With the hope of blaming the E.U. for that outcome?

BROOKS: I think all indications are that's exactly what he is doing. When he became prime minister, only a couple of months ago, he sent a letter proposing his new plan, which had a variety of old proposals are already rejected by the E.U. A lot of critics by the prime minister were very concerned he

wouldn't, make any proposals in order to crash the country out, in their view, on the 31st of October. And that's what we are seeing now.

[02:20:00]

BROOKS: Boris Johnson had until the 19th of October to get a new deal, otherwise, Parliament would force him to ask for an extension from the E.U. But we're still over a week away from that deadline yet now having, these war of words and conversation with Angela Merkel, attributed to the German chancellor, that have been denied by the other side. And the view on Northern Ireland was rejected by the Irish deputy prime minister. So, we have a war of words that seem to be premature. Seems he has no intention to get a deal anyway.

CHURCH: The E.U. says talk are still ongoing and they want a deal. But is there any real solution to the backstop issue that has stumped everyone, and does Mr. Johnson have any real intention of finding a solution?

BROOKS: You're quite right. The E.U. are saying they are still willing to talk, still at the table, which is all the more extraordinary hearing from 10 Downing Street that they somehow think something else.

So something isn't quite right with this picture. I think they have a problem with the Irish backstop, the British government has a problem. And the issue is very simple, ,that the government wants to pull Britain out of a single market without any customs checks on goods and services.

Yet at the same time, departing from its own regulations, wants to somehow leave an open border on one side while making greater restrictions on the border everywhere else..

It's seen as kind of contradiction, how do you have tighter border control on one side but then have a completely open border on the other, while departing from a shared market?

There's not been really any good ideas, put forward from British government, other than insisting that being a trading partner with zero or close to zero tariffs would be in the interest of both sides and hoping that the E.U. will just simply turn a blind eye, to exposing itself and having an openness and exposing the single market in this way.

So far the E.U. has not shown any willingness to give ground and people from the beginning of the Brexit process, said they would not do so. Appears that they might be right.

CHURCH: Meantime, we are getting closer to October 31st so it, will be interesting to see, if an extension, or basically leaving with no deal, we ill keep an eye on it, Thom Brooks, many thanks to you as always. Appreciate it.

BROOKS: A pleasure.

CHURCH: So U.S. secretary of state Mike Pompeo is calling out China on human rights abuses . On Tuesday the U.S. announced visa restrictions on Chinese officials suspected of being involved in abusing against Uighur Muslims and other minority groups.

Pompeo's statement called for China to, quote, "immediately end its campaign of repression."

But statement did not say how many officials would be subjected to these restrictions, the Chinese embassy in Washington is furious, saying the U.S. is interfering in China's internal affairs and undermines its interests.

Principles over product. That is the moral high ground NBA commissioner Adam Silver is taking, in the league's growing rift with China. It began last week, when Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey tweeted support for pro democracy protesters in Hong Kong.

And that brought harsh response from Beijing and an apology from both Morey and the NBA, but now the NBA commissioner is shifting the league's strategy, saying freedom of speech matters, even if it endangers its position in China, one of its most important markets.

The Chinese broadcasters immediately responded, refusing to carry pre season games, and CNN "WORLD SPORT" anchor Alex Thomas joining me now.

Good to see you Alex, it took a good 24 hours or so, but eventually NBA put principles and free speech above profit, what did the commissioner have to say about this, and where do things stand right now?

ALEX THOMAS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Rosemary, Silver has been the NBA commissioner for five and a half years and this, is probably the toughest spot he has found himself in. You're right to say it took the NBA a while to respond decisively.

Daryl Morey's tweet came out last Friday and, this sporting political storm has gathered momentum as the days went by. The NBA originally hoped Morey, by deleting his tweet and posting another tweet apologizing, and the NBA trying to placate China it would all die down.

But suddenly they found themselves between two entrenched positions.

[02:25:00]

THOMAS: In the U.S. say the NBA was being criticized for not standing up for American values of free speech and in China they were deeply criticized, even more so perhaps, for having anything to do with the pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong, which is a huge thorn in Beijing's side as we report on CNN on an almost daily basis.

So at the end, ahead of the two preseason games here in Japan, the first held in this country for 16 years, involving the Houston Rockets, the team of which Daryl Morey is the general manager and the NBA champs ,the Toronto Raptors.

I spoke to Adam Silver, the NBA commissioner, on the courtside ahead of the game, and he said, ultimately, he had to put American morals and values of freedom of expression, ahead of any business interest with China.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ADAM SILVER, COMMISSIONER, NBA: No question and, like I said, it's part of the DNA of this league, we, are at the end of the day an American based company. We do business all around the world but those values, those mores, travel with. Us

THOMAS: How concerned are you that China will not accept that position?

SILVER: Otherwise I would not be that concerned, because we've been doing business with China for so long. I will say, I am a bit surprised that CCTV canceled the telecasting of the preseason games and specifically named me as the cause.

It's interesting while at the same time in the U.S. media, some suggesting I am not being protective enough of our employees. Clearly, they're seeing it's the other way in China.

But I think at the end of the day, we have been pretty consistent and it's not our role to adjudicate these types of disputes but certainly to provide a platform, and I'm hopeful as I said earlier, that by using tourists (ph), people will have the ability to talk more openly about these issues and make decisions for themselves.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

THOMAS: So the NBA commissioner has now flown from Japan to Shanghai in China, where two more NBA global games are taking place, involving LeBron James and the Lakers. We know LeBron is happy to talk out about social issues from time to time.

Also the Brooklyn Nets, owned by Taiwan born Canadian businessman Joe Tsai, who's the cofounder of Alibaba group, who lives in Hong Kong and gave a staunch defense of the Chinese position, and he says that he is trying to act as a broker, telling "The Wall Street Journal," "I'm in the eye of the storm, I've communicated with a bunch of people on both sides and my role is to help everyone understand the other side's perspective."

Easier said than done, Rosemary. Our correspondent, David Culver, is on the ground, there, news gathering. He's spoken to NBA fans, excited about the games and saying, ultimately, when it comes to between choosing the NBA and their own government stance, they'll backed their country first before their love of basketball.

CHURCH: All right, thank you, Alex, joining us from Tokyo, appreciate it.

Just 20 years old he, dreamed one day serving his country, instead he was gunned down in the streets, one of the many victims of Iraq's violent crackdown on protesters, seeking a better life, we're in Baghdad just ahead.

Plus a CNN exclusive, thousands of Kenyans claim to be Somali refugees.

What do they hope to get from the scam?

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[02:30:00]

CHURCH: Welcome back, everyone, I'm Rosemary Church. I want to update you now on the main stories we've been following this hour. The Trump administration is blocking testimony from a key witness in the House impeachment inquiry. The President's E.U. Ambassador Gordon Sondland was due to appear before three House committees on Tuesday. Democrats accused the White House of obstructing Congress. The White House said it won't cooperate and calls the inquiry unconstitutional.

It's only been two days since Donald Trump pulled U.S. troops from Northern Syria. And Kurdish-led forces say Turkey is already shelling its positions there. They're calling for a no-fly zone. The Kurds played a crucial role in fighting ISIS, but Turkey considers them terrorists. A nationwide curfew is in effect in Ecuador where six days of violent protests have pushed the government out of the capital to a coastal city. The demonstrations were triggered by a cut in fuel subsidies. Police used tear gas and water cannon to disperse thousands of indigenous protesters.

Well, Iraq's President is condemning the use of lethal force against anti-government protesters and is promising an investigation. More than 100 people have been killed and thousands wounded in eight days of demonstrations. Arwa Damon reports the push to end the violence comes too late for one grieving family.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ARWA DAMON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Mazen cries out for his younger brother Murtada al-Muhamadawi, just 20 years old. The wails of pain of those who loved him are drowned out by the Shia mourning hymns for the departed. The sorrow here for a life so needlessly, so mercilessly lost is crushing.

He will live on as a hero. He's a hero, Murtada's mother, Hayat swears. Her face covered as is tradition for those in mourning. She has cried so much. She has no tears left.

He's my friend, he's not just my son. He's my friend. I don't know. I don't know, she says breaking down.

It was the first day of the demonstrations. Like thousands of others, Murtada was fed up with the status quo, the levels of corruption, the lack of basic services, the unemployment, especially high among his generation. The response was swift and brutal, unexpected. Murtada was gunned down, shot through the chest. Murtada died here in the street.

But this is how he will be remembered, for his smile, his love of life. Murtada was studying political science. He dreamt of being an officer in he Iraqi army of serving his country. His country never gave him a chance. The next day, friends and strangers demonstrated for him.

When one dies or 100, our voices will remain, they chanted. It was our duty his cousin Quassem Juma'a tells us, to return to where he fell.

His got videos.

Can you hear the gunfire, he asks? Why would I go except to defend my rights? I saw three people wounded here. He says they are all university students. And day laborers, struggling between rough work and their studies. And on top of all of this, someone comes and shoots you, he says. The government promises of reform mean little to those who are here, who vow they will no longer be sedated by false words. His mother swears to carry on where her son left off.

[02:35:07]

My sons will all go to the street. Even I will go, the mother of a martyr, and I will gather all the other mothers, she pledges. They stole her son's voice. So, those who loved him will now use theirs. Arwa Damon, CNN Baghdad.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

CHURCH: We now go to a CNN exclusive investigation, tens of thousands of Kenyans pretending to be Somali refugees. Many enjoy desolate camps, hoping to get free food and an education. But they also had bigger plans. CNN's David McKenzie is live this hour in Johannesburg with all the details. David, good to see you. So, what were the bigger plans and how did they get caught?

DAVID MCKENZIE, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, certainly, Rosemary, there is a sense across the world that refugees need to have those outlets to be resettled in third countries. It's one of the key points of international law. People fleeing persecution or war will ultimately get resettled in the U.S. and Europe, but we found that an untold number of them shouldn't have gone at all.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

MCKENZIE: He says guilt led him here to invite us into his Nairobi apartment to reveal his lie.

These are all your attempts to become Kenyan again.

OMAR SHARIF, FAKE SOMALI REFUGEE: This one is a birth certificate.

MCKENZIE: Under Omar Sharif's (ph) bed and on his phone, proof of his double identity.

So, this is your refugee number.

SHARIF: Number, yes.

MCKENZIE: A Kenyan by birth, a Somali refugee by choice.

So, you're a fake refugee?

SHARIF: Yes, I'm a fake refugee.

MCKENZIE: I knew that it was wrong to pretend to be a refugee, he says, but the situation that I was in was of hunger and needing an education. I wanted to help myself. Sharif says he heard from a friend that he could get free food and education at refugee camps like the dub. So, during a period of hunger in 2009, he traveled north from his home on the Kenyan coast.

And when you got to the dub, did they ask him any questions, or they just registered?

They didn't interrogate me, he says, if maybe they had done so, I would have told them where I was actually from. They only asked for my age. They even filled out the form for me. He has never set foot in Somalia but only took a few minutes to become a Somali refugee. Official estimates put the number at around 40,000. 40,000 Kenyans like Sharif registered as refugees in what the U.N. and Kenyan government euphemistically term, double registration. The extent of the problem came to light when the Kenyan government announced it would close the cap and started to repatriate refugees to Somalia.

When Kenya said we're closing these camps, why did that cause panic amongst these fake refugees?

MOHAMED DAHIYE, MEMBER OF PARLIAMENT: Because they will be having now Kenyan status and they don't belong to Somalia. So, they are basically becoming stateless. And then, they're also not to get -- able to get the services the Kenyan citizens are getting.

MCKENZIE: Mohamed Dahiye is a member of Parliament representing the dub. He says his government needs to do more to de register the thousands of fake refugees still in the system, so that they can claim back their Kenyan identity.

We found Kenyans who are nowhere near that refugee camp who traveled there to become fake refugees.

DAHIYE: Well, those are people who have seen maybe the opportunity for migration at the time.

MCKENZIE: Migration to the U.S.?

DAHIYE: To the U.S. or in other country in the West. That's (INAUDIBLE) towards there.

MCKENZIE: And it happened. We tracked down several Kenyans who managed to not only register but resettle as refugees in Europe, Canada, and the United States, all refuse to go on camera fearing for their status. But one agreed if we disguised his identity. Now an American citizen, his Kenyan family was resettled to the U.S. when he was a child in the 1990s.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We followed the American dream, as they call it, and move on through school. We've all graduated ...

MCKENZIE: Resettlement is an opportunity that U.N. officials likened to winning the lottery.

But what about those people who should have taken those slots who were actually Somali?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I do feel -- I felt sorry for them, but not really guilty, because, you know, with paternity, there was a front of us, and we didn't take it for granted.

MCKENZIE: Kenyans who registered as refugees. There have been quite a number of them who've been resettled in countries like the U.S. Aren't you worried that they would take the slot of legitimate refugees in that very difficult to get resettlement process?

FATHIAA ABDALLA, REPRESENTATIVE, UNHCR: I'm not aware of any Kenyan being resettled as refugees. I tell you why, because the resettlement program goes through different verification and different checks and balances through our own system.

[02:40:12]

MCKENZIE: The Kenyan government refused repeated requests for an on- camera interview. But an official acknowledged resettlement did take place, adding, it's very unfortunate, but they were attracted by the goodies they could get in those countries. They took the opportunity to be resettled, and it's unfortunate that they took the place of bonified refugees. I don't think it will happen again. But that hasn't stopped some from trying to buy their way in.

How much did you have to pay him?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: For the cards? $300.

MCKENZIE: Do you expect you have to pay more?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes. You see, per person, $12,000 U.S.

MCKENZIE: $12,000 U.S. per person?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, per person.

MCKENZIE: And what will that money get you?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: To the U.S.

MCKENZIE: To the United States.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes. MCKENZIE: This Kenyan who we disguised to protect his identity, says that a few months ago, he got in touch with a broker who promised to get him and his brother into the U.S. He says he was led in through the backdoor of the refugee reception center in Nairobi.

He said they just filled it out for you.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes.

MCKENZIE: Did you see what they wrote?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No. I'm just signed the form.

MCKENZIE: What does this tell you about the refugee registration?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (INAUDIBLE) there are corruption involved. People are willing to do anything for the money.

MCKENZIE: And for genuine refugees, the most vulnerable, the most in need, a chance for a better life made that much more difficult.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

MCKENZIE: Well, you know, Rosemary, a U.S. spokesman told us the State Department spokesman told us that the United States has a zero tolerance policy for fraud, waste, and abuse of American taxpayers resources. They added that the U.S. performs its own detailed interviews and security checks of refugee applicants. This process includes measures to verify the nationalities of refugee applicants.

And as we continued reporting the story, Rosemary, we got in touch with an alleged facilitator, someone who was at the very beginning of this process who used bribes to help push through, they say, of these fake refugees into the system. They said the issue happens right at the beginning, that it's baked in, in their words, that after that initial fake refugee status, really, that person becomes a legitimate Somali refugee in the system. And that is one way they said that they are able to get through the U.S. embassy and European embassies to eventually get resettled in those countries, Rosemary?

CHURCH: An extraordinary reporting there, David McKenzie, many things to you for bringing all of that to light. And we'll take a very short break. We'll have more news on the other side of it. Do stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[02:45:00]

CHURCH: Well, Japan is on alert with a powerful typhoon on the way and Tokyo could be impacted. Our meteorologist Pedram Javaheri joins us now in the International Weather Center.

So, talk to us about how bad this is likely be? Who will be impacted by this? PEDRAM JAVAHERI, CNN INTERNATIONAL METEOROLOGIST: As you said, Tokyo certainly is in line for a very powerful storm. And it is currently a Category 5 equivalent. The good news of the storm system it is going to weaken significantly on approach towards Tokyo. And I mean, you think we've talked a lot about Japan recently when it comes to tropical systems, it had five tropical systems, Rosemary, since July first. So, it certainly has been an active pattern.

We break down exactly what's happening here when it comes to the tropical activity and the graphic here really depicts it well because, again, five systems pushing across the mainland region of Japan.

Since July first alone, you may recall the tropical zone Typhoon Faxai that moved very close to Tokyo back in early September -- about a month ago or so. So, the activity has been very prevalent.

In fact, look at this, 260 kilometers per hour, that is a Category 5 super typhoon sitting right there across the western Pacific as compact, as organized, as symmetrical, as you'll ever see a storm system.

And again, may not look impressive because of the size of it but what the storm has done in the past couple of days is historic in and of itself. Because the rapidly intensification nature of the storm going from Sunday into Monday was one for the books.

In fact, in the past 23 years of storms which was hundreds of storms in the western Pacific, no storm strengthened as quickly as Hagibis did. 160 kilometer-per-hour rapidly intensifying within a 24-hour period. Again, working its way into Category 5 status.

But, we take a look, when you compare where we should be, we are actually slightly below average -- believe it or not, for the western Pacific. We've had 28 named storms, 35 is what is normal.

The super typhoon number which is a very important number right there on the bottom we are sitting there right in line with what you expect for this time of year having seen three super typhoons.

But notice on approach towards mainland Japan as we go in from Thursday into Friday, we think sometime around Saturday is when the storm makes landfall. Tokyo becomes one of those cities we're watching very carefully because, of course, a lot of storms have come, and very close proximity in recent months.

And, in fact when you take a look in recorded history, the size Faxai -- you've got to go back to the 1950s, you'll find numerous storms here that have pushed very close within 50 nautical miles or about 90 kilometers of Tokyo.

So, this is a storm that will have a lot of people talking but we think it'll weaken potentially to a Category 2 if not a Category 1 as it approaches the island there later on this week and this weekend.

And notice, again, regardless of its category, the impacts to a very densely populated city should be pretty significant about 90 to 100- kilometer-per-hour gusts are possible. And then you notice the widespread coverage of rainfall here over the next several days especially beginning on Friday across portions of Japan.

Rainfall could exceed 200 plus to 300 millimeters of rainfall and that would be a significant flooding that would be in line across the island. So, this is a story we're going to follow and has a major implications when it comes to the flooding potential.

And the Rugby World Cup, Rosemary is taking place this weekend. Officials already beginning to move event to kind of cancel some of these events in place because, of course, any amount of rainfall when you have a lot of people here for an event they've been looking forward to, it could lead to some problems there in a very populated area.

CHURCH: Yes, yes, that's critical.

JAVAHERI: Yes.

CHURCH: Thank you so much, Pedram, appreciate it.

JAVAHERI: It certainly, yes.

CHURCH: I talk to you soon.

Well, the world has reacted in horror after 11 elephants were found dead. They were killed when they fell from cliffs along a steep waterfall in Thailand. The elephants were attempting to save a 3- year-old calf stuck in the rocks in one part of the waterfall when they slipped off falling some 150 meters.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BADIN CHANSRIKAM, PARK WORKER, THAILAND (through translator): We understand that the elephants were trying to cross over to the other side of the river. Probably, one of the smaller elephants might have slid and the adult ones were trying to rescue them but instead, they were swept away by the water.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CHURCH: And wildlife expert, Jeff Corwin, host of the television show Ocean Treks with Jeff Corwin, joins us now from Japan. Thank you so much for being with us.

A heartbreaking story. I mean, authorities think these elephants died trying to save that baby elephant in distress. What is it about these majestic animals that makes them risk their own lives in a situation like this? And how often does that happen in the animal world?

[02:50:02]

JEFF CORWIN, HOST, OCEAN TREKS WITH JEFF CORWIN: Well, that's a great question, Rosemary. And it's a very complex challenge to try to wrap our heads around this horrible cascade of events. The truth is elephants are incredibly intelligent creatures. They live and survive in family units -- matriarchal units. They are very altruistic especially when it comes to their offspring, their young calves which will spend up to two decades within a family unit. Sisters, cousins, aunts, grandmas, ma's, they'll all stay together their entire lives, which could be 60 to 70 years.

So, in many ways, we can see this investment, this sense of family connection in elephants as we would see on ourselves. So, it makes perfect sense to me that when a vulnerable young elephant, what -- it finds itself in harm's way, that one of the adults or all the adults would move in to try to save it.

But in this case, they're mighty brawn and strength was no match for the mighty roar of this river.

CHURCH: Yes, and I think as humans, that's why we empathize to such an extent, caught the images very distressing. A drone capturing disturbing pictures of those dead elephants. What were your thoughts when you saw those images?

CORWIN: It's heartbreaking to see that I've actually been to this part of Thailand. Many times I filmed there, I worked with these elephants before. It makes me wonder if I've crossed paths with one of these majestic incredible giants.

So, again, I'm reminded of despite our tremendous difference as species, human beings, and Asian elephants go, how much we share in common? And I just thought of it might sound very odd, but what I thought of immediately upon reflecting on this terrible moment in Thailand was that awful moment in America where a vehicle went off a river and I believe Delaware into a canal, and members of the family actually drowned trying to save their family members in that vehicle.

You can see this being mirrored with these incredible creatures in Thailand. Of course, the great tragedy is, is these are remarkably and unfortunately endangered species, there are only 6,000 wild elephants remaining in Thailand, everyone matters.

CHURCH: Yes, absolutely. And, of course, we heard too that there were two elephants standing by, trying to do the very same thing to actually jump in and help those elephants in distress. Thankfully, those two were saved and they're being looked after. But it is a really distressing story.

Jeff Corwin, thank you so much for joining us. We appreciate it. And we'll take a short break.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CHURCH: Well, in just a few hours, the Nobel Prize for Chemistry will be announced. The physics award is already out, it went to three scientists for discoveries which the Nobel committee says have forever changed our conceptions of the world.

CNN's Cyril Vanier has the details. (BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

MATS LARSSON, CHAIR, NOBEL COMMITTEE FOR PHYSICS 2019: This year's Nobel Prize in Physics deals with groundbreaking discoveries about our universe.

[02:54:53]

CYRIL VANIER, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: In a ceremony Tuesday, the Nobel Prize to Physics is jointly awarded to three scientists. Their work, the committee says, has forever changed our conceptions of the world.

Half of the nearly million-dollar prize goes to Swiss scientists, Michel Mayor and Didier Queloz. The other half, to Canadian American cosmologist James Peebles.

JAMES PEEBLES, ALBERT EINSTEIN PROFESSOR EMERITUS OF SCIENCE, PRINCETON UNIVERSITY: I was nervous about the lack of evidence or the nature of the universe, but, it -- the evidence kept appearing. It was quite a joyride.

VANIER: A professor at Princeton University, Peebles has been studying the evolution of the universe for more than five decades. The committee says the theoretical framework he developed during that time now forms the foundation of modern understanding of the universe's history.

He studied cosmic radiation from just after the Big Bang to uncover a startling fact. Everything we see around us, any matter from mountains to Stars to other people actually makes up only five percent of the universe. The rest is made up of dark energy and dark matter, which remain a scientific mystery.

PEEBLES: We're dying to know what it might be. My bet is that the dark matter is complicated and that the discovery will be a process of winnowing out different candidates, some of we're all -- that are all there but in varying amounts. It'll be very exciting.

VANIER: Professors at the University of Geneva, Mayor and Queloz set out to find unknown worlds in our galaxy. In 1995, they discovered the very first planet orbiting a distant sun, named, 51 Pegasi b.

Since then, more than 4,000 exoplanets have been found in the Milky Way. Some of which may have the potential to host life but remain very different from planet Earth.

DIDIER QUELOZ, JOINT WINNER, 2019 NOBEL PRIZE FOR PHYSICS: I can tell you out of the thousands of planet, there is very few that looks like any planet in the solar system which makes the mystery deeper -- even deeper, and even more interesting that's why we keep -- we keep working on that, because we have seen a lot of questions to answer on this field.

VANIER: The Nobel jury, says Mayor and Queloz started a revolution in astronomy. Challenging traditional ideas about planetary systems and their origins. Taken together, the work of all three scientists has changed scientific understanding of the cosmos.

ULF DANIELSSON, MEMBER, NOBEL COMMITTEE: This year's Nobel laureate in physics had painted the picture of a universe far stranger and more wonderful than we ever could have imagined. Our view or place in the universe will never be the same again.

VANIER: Cyril Vanier, CNN.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

CHURCH: Cyril, very awesome there. And thank you for joining us. I'm Rosemary Church. Remember to connect with me anytime on Twitter and I'll be back with more news in just a moment. You're watching CNN. Do stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[03:00:00]