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Hurricane Sally Brings More Rain; President Trump Pressed by Voters; Japan with a New Leader; Israel, UAE, and Bahrain Signs an Agreement; Air Polluted by Wildfires; Oregon County Brace For More Fire Deaths; Hurricane Sally Grows to Category Two as it Nears Landfall; Japan's New Prime Minister to be Sworn in By Emperor; Russian Opposition Post Picture of Navalny; France's COVID-19 Resurgence; Indonesia Orders People who Refused to Wear Mask to Dig Graves; Manhunt on The L.A. Shooting Incident with Reward Now Reaching $275,000; Racial Tensions with Law Enforcement Remain High; Breonna Taylor's Family Receives Settlement; Poll Show Donald Trump Less Trusted than Xi, Putin on Virus; U.S. Image Plummets Internationally in Handling of Coronavirus Pandemic; Mexico Holds Presidential Plane Lottery. Aired 3-4a ET

Aired September 16, 2020 - 03:00   ET




ROSEMARY CHURCH, CNN ANCHOR: Hello, and welcome to our viewers joining us from all around the world. You are watching CNN Newsroom. And I'm Rosemary Church.

Just ahead, hurricane Sally is as a slow-moving threat. The category two storm could bring devastating flooding to the U.S. Gulf Coast.

The U.S. President erroneously claims coronavirus will go away without a vaccine. And because of what he called herd mentality during a town hall riddled with falsehoods.

Japan has a new prime minister, and the former factory worker is expected to continue his predecessor's policies.

Good to have you with us.

Well hurricane Sally has now been upgraded to a category two storm, as it creeps closer to the U.S. Gulf Coast. It's expected to make landfall in the coming hours. And we are already seeing strong winds and torrential rain moving to places like gulf shores Alabama.

The storm has brought flooding and storm surge to several coastal communities including in the Florida Panhandle. The National Hurricane Center warns historic flooding is possible. Hurricane Sally's slow movement means states will have to endure destructive weather for even longer. Some roads are already underwater, and tens of thousands across three states are now without power.

So, let's go straight to CNN's Polo Sandoval who joins me now from Mobile, Alabama. So, Polo, talk to us about the situation there this hour?

POLO SANDOVAL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hey, Rosemary, I think the best way to describe it as if Mother Nature seems to slowly be turning up the dial in terms of wind speed here. Because that's what we've been seeing in the last couple of hours.

Obviously -- now that Sally is a category two hurricane, we're certainly feeling the wind impact. Though experts have been stressing that this is more of a rain impact because as you correctly point out, we have been searing already for several hours, and we're going to see these downpours well into Wednesday.

And that's what is concerning. We are looking over the Mobile river here, this is a body of water that eventually empties into the Gulf of Mexico. You can see those white caps here. It certainly speaks to the intensity of the wind. Now the storm surge projections did lower slightly, which is certainly good news for residents here in Mobile, Alabama.

I have to tell you, about an hours' drive east of here in Pensacola Florida, the situation is certainly dire. In fact, the local national weather service is issuing a flash flood emergency warning just a few moments ago, the way meteorologists say is that is something that is rarely issued, and it's only done when there is a specific threat to human life.

So, the reports that we're seeing right now in Pensacola, Florida, is that floodwaters are rising in the streets. So that's certainly an area of concern. And that is also speaking wo what seen, the concerns that we've seen not only here in Alabama, but in neighboring Florida and also as you go west as well in the Florida Panhandle.

And finally, Rosemary, just to quote the local meteorologist here in Mobile, it's not over yet. It's far from over.


CHURCH: Yes, absolutely. Polo Sandoval, take good care there, reporting live from Mobile, Alabama. Many thanks.

So, let's go now to our meteorologist Pedram Javaheri. And you know, of course, seeing Polo there on the ground you really get a feeling for the strength of this. So, what are you seeing there, Pedram?

PEDRAM JAVAHERI, CNN METEOROLOGIST: It is getting awfully close to making landed, you know, it's precisely where it's been the last few hours but it's starting to wobble a little bit closer towards lands with the northern eyewall where the strongest winds of this 165 kilometer per hour storm are really pushing in right towards where Polo would be here as far as the strongest winds are concerned.

But of course, this particular storm system, the lack of motion really going to be problematic, and in fact -- look at this, Rosemary -- some 640 kilometers away, thunderstorms on the outer bands of this essentially the feeder bands of the storm system on the coast of Georgia, producing 100 millimeters of rainfall in the last couple of hours and speaks to the wide-reaching impacts, and of course, the flooding concerns of a storm like this because we know just 15 centimeters is all it takes to sweep a person off their feet. Plus, waters go up to as much as 60 centimeters, which by way with a storm of this magnitude, that could happen in a matter of say, one or two hours.


Of course, then you could have a car move over the land there. And we know the force behind water is incredible. Just 11 kilometers per hour it exerts the same amount of force per unit area as does an EF5 tornado.

So, you kind of think about incredible wind speeds, the force of water - I always use the analogy, if you had a moving box, take two large moving boxes. If you put water inside of them, they would weigh more than your vehicle. That's really hard for people to kind of conceptualize and wrap your head around intensity and force behind this water.

But that is exactly what the folks here on the coast have to deal with. And we know tropical cyclone deaths typically the highest percentage do come from the storm surge and flooding. And with this particular storm, it might actually be more so with flooding as far as the damages left in place.

But we think the forward speed does pick up in the next couple of hours, landfall again if it wobbles overland here in the next several hours, I wouldn't be surprised if the hurricane center gives it an official landfall. But really, we don't see it get out here for another 24 hours even if it moves over land. Because we think it will kind of meander near the coastline as it does so.

In fact, the current progression at around two to three kilometers per hour is equivalent to the speed of get this, a turtle, a walking turtle goes to two to three kilometers per hour. And if you're curious, someone in their 70s walks at around four kilometers per hour.

So, the storm system is moving slower than a turtle. But the perspective again, (Inaudible) where we think those strong winds could eventually end up into some more of the urban environments there into say, Atlanta Georgia where some tropical force winds could be felt as early as Thursday evening.

And of course, the end result of all of this is going to be the incredible volume of water on the ground. As much as half a meter or more, which is equivalent to about three to four months' worth of rainfall, Rosemary, from right now through Thursday across these areas. So really a lot of problems here.

CHURCH: Yes, absolutely, and as you say, it's the flooding, it's the water that causes more problems and the wind here of course.


CHURCH: Pedram Javaheri, many thanks. I appreciate it.

Well, U.S. President Donald Trump is defending his handling of the coronavirus pandemic, yet again appearing at an ABC News town hall. In the battleground state of Pennsylvania, Mr. Trump continued to deny he had downplayed the outbreak.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Why would you downplay a pandemic that is known to disproportionately harm low income families and minority communities?

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: Yes. Well, I didn't downplay it. I actually, in many ways, I up-played it in terms of action.


CHURCH: Well, the president's denial comes despite admitting the opposite to legendary journalist, Bob Woodward on tape. Take a listen.


TRUMP: I wanted to always play it down. I still like playing it down.


TRUMP: Because I don't want to create a panic.


CHURCH: And despite the deaths of nearly 196,000 people in the U.S., Mr. Trump continues to insist the virus will simply disappear.


TRUMP: It'll go away without the vaccine, George, but it's going to go away a lot faster.


GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS, CHIEF ANCHOR, ABC NEWS: It will go away without the vaccine?

TRUMP: Sure. Over a period of time. Sure. With time it goes away.

STEPHANOPOULOS: And many deaths.

TRUMP: And you'll develop -- you'll develop herd, like a herd mentality.


CHURCH: Right. Well into another recording from Woodward's interviews with Mr. Trump for his new book "Rage," you can hear the president acknowledge that the COVID-19 virus is dangerous and highly contagious. This is a fact he has repeatedly downplayed in public. Take a listen.


TRUMP: This thing is a killer if it gets to. If you're the wrong person, you don't have a chance.

WOODWARD: Yes, yes, exactly. And so --


TRUMP: Like a friend of mine died. Very -- a great real estate developer from Manhattan. He died yesterday.

WOODWARD: Yes, I know. I mean, you know, listen, students of mine I teach in journalism seminar have written me, have had it. And one of the women said she had it. They said she was cured. And they kept coming back with the new symptoms. The strange things happened. She had intense headaches.

TRUMP: So, what happened?

WOODWARD: And she is in agony. And they're telling her you're cured now. You're over it. So, this -- I mean, you have said it. This is a monster.

TRUMP: This rips you apart.

WOODWARD: This is a scourge.

TRUMP: It is the plague.

WOODWARD: It is the plague. And the --

TRUMP: And Bob, it's so easily transmissible you wouldn't even believe it.

WOODWARD: I know. It's --

TRUMP: I mean, you can -- you can be in the room. I was in the White House a couple of days ago, meeting of 10 people in the Oval Office. And a guy sneezed, innocently. Not a horrible, you know, just a sneeze.


TRUMP: The entire room bailed out, OK, including me by the way.


CHURCH: Meantime, a new study says the coronavirus may have been circulating in the United States as early as last December. That's about a month earlier than believed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

[03:10:05] And the World Health Organization Scientist says, it might be 2022

before the world can begin to return to pre-COVID life. All this as the case count keeps rising in the U.S.

CNN's Nick Watt has more.

NICK WATT, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The national daily case count is falling, or rosy right? Wrong.


WILLIAM HASELTINE, FORMER PROFESSOR, HARVARD MEDICAL SCHOOL: You can't relax with this thing. It's relentless.


WATT: More new daily cases now than when we started going into lockdowns. On average, more new cases now even than during those dark days of April.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This is a war zone. It's a medical war zone.


WATT: New York crushed its curve, but 55 school staffers have now tested positive. The teacher's union says, they are not ready to reopen. Remember, kids can get sick. Nine-year-old Eli Lipman and his dad Jonathan, both got sick in March, still suffering, so called long haulers.


ELI LIPMAN, 9-YEAR-OLD RECOVERING FROM COVID-19: It felt like, the day after you got smashed into a wall. Like you're achy, you're sore, you're tired. But like, not the tired where you go to sleep. I can't go to sleep.


WATT: There are success stories. No one has died from COVID in Vermont since early August, among the lowest positivity rates in the land.


ANTHONY FAUCI, DIRECTOR, NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF ALLERGY AND INFECTIOUS DISEASES: This should be the model for the country of how you've done it.


WATT: But he says not everywhere would accept a mask mandate, and the president himself retweeting praise of a federal court ruling that Pennsylvania as restrictions on some large gatherings were unconstitutional.


JOHN FETTERMAN, LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR, PENNSYLVANIA: A tragedy when we look back on this is that, all these people did not have to die. And it happened because we made each other the enemy. Not this virus.


WATT: And a vaccine might not be a quick fix.


HASELTINE: Even if it is effective, and very effective, it's going to take a year or two before everybody is protected.


WATT: And the FDA has to greenlight any vaccine, will the public take their word?


BILL GATES, CO-CHAIRMAN, GATES FOUNDATION: We saw what the completely bundled plasma statements that, when you start pressuring people to stay optimistic things, they go completely off the rails. And so, the FDA lost a lot of credibility there.


WATT: Gates just told STAT, this has been a mismanaged situation every step of the way. It's shocking, it's unbelievable.

Nick Watt CNN, Los Angeles.

CHURCH: Joining me now is CNN medical analyst, Dr. Leana Wen. She is also an emergency room physician at George Washington University. Thank you, doctor, for being with us, and of course, for everything that you do.

LEANA WEN, CNN MEDICAL ANALYST: Thank you. Glad to be with you.

CHURCH: So, I want to start with that town hall President Trump held with undecided voters, and at one point he was asked, why he hasn't instituted a national mask mandate. And here is what he says. Let's just bring that up.


TRUMP: Now there is, by the way, a lot of people don't want to wear masks. There are a lot of people think that masks are not good. And they're a lot of people that as an example --


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Who are those people? TRUMP: I'll tell you who those people are, waiters. They come over

and they serve you and they have a mask. And I saw it the other day where they were serving me. And they're playing with the mask. I'm not blaming them. I'm just saying what happens. They are playing with the mask so the mask is over and they're touching it and then they're touching the plate. That can't be good.


CHURCH: So, doctor, he's saying there's lots of people that say masks are not good and the example he uses is a waiter. What's your reaction to that?

WEN: Well, here's what I wish President Trump said instead. I wish he talked about the science, and the science is clear that if we all wear masks, that we can save up to 100,000 lives, in the U.S. by the end of the year. That wearing masks, reduces the rate of transmission by as much as five times.

I mean, this is not about individual liberty here. Individual liberty does not mean that you get to commit other people to a sacrifice that they themselves did not make. And you know, at some point, when we talked about drunk driving, and seatbelt laws, and helmet laws and other things as things that may be uncomfortable, but were societal imperatives to improve people's health.

CHURCH: It is a critical point. And doctor, President Trump also says that a COVID-19 vaccine may be ready in four to eight weeks. It is that politics or science at play, and what distribution infrastructure is in place should that actually happen?

WEN: These are both great questions, I don't think any of us have the answers to them yet. It seems extremely challenging, and nearly impossible for us to have a vaccine that somehow approved and have gone through all the safety checks and to make sure that it's effective in less than two months from now.


And then, even after this vaccine is approved, there is still needs to be distribution. So, we still have to manufacture hundreds of millions of doses, just in the U.S. alone.

If we are talking about the world, we are talking about 7.5 billion people that we have to get the vaccine to. So, we really cannot see vaccine approval as the end point.

We have to see that as a type of beginning, and to set our expectations because more than likely we are going to be living with COVID-19 for many months to come, because that is how long it is going to take us to first of all, get this vaccine. That passes through the scientific checks. And then, to be able to distributed to this many people.

CHURCH: And former CDC director Dr. Tom Frieden said Tuesday that it's easier to figure out if a vaccine works than if it's safe. What does that mean exactly? And what does it reveal in terms of where human trials are right now, and safety concerns of course?

WEN: So right now, there are nine vaccines that are going through phase three trials. And so, this is when a vaccine and a placebo are both injected into tens of thousands of people. And then we can see, if this is safe and effective.

Efficacy is looking at, whether this protects you from getting COVID- 19, and so it might be that if there is a very effective vaccine. And there is high level of virus in the community. It might be that we get those data back relatively rapidly.

But it may take more time for us to ensure that the vaccine is safe, because let's say that there is a very rare but serious side effect, that comes up only in one of 10,000 or one in 100,000 people, well we may not know until we have tested many tens of thousands of people to see if that kind of reaction comes up.

And so, that's why it's so important not to take any shortcuts in the process. To make sure that the science is what's driving approval and not political expediency or partisanship. And vaccine development is very complex. We have to take the time to do this right. Speed is not the goal. Safety and efficacy is.

CHURCH: Dr. Leana Wen, it is so good to get your guidance and be led by science. We appreciate it.

WEN: Thank you.

CHURCH: And still to come, new ties between the UAE and Bahrain with Israel are being hailed by President Trump as the dawn of the new Middle East. We will have details of the deal next.


CHURCH: Well, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain signed agreements normalizing relations with Israel on Tuesday. The move brings into the open relations that had been covert until now. But it doesn't resolve Israel's conflict with the Palestinians.

The Abraham accords were brokered by the Trump administration. President Trump is calling it the dawn of a new Middle East. And here is what his son in law and senior adviser Jared Kushner had to say.



JARED KUSHNER, SENIOR ADVISOR TO THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I think we had a very good breakthrough. What has happened is in the Middle East, the deals have been so well received. That's what helped Bahrain go quickly. They saw how well the deal was received in the United Arab Emirates and throughout the Muslim world. The people in the region are tired of war, they're tired of conflict, they want to move forward.

(END VIDEO CLIP) CHURCH: And CNN's Sam Kiley is live from Abu Dhabi and Oren Liebermann joins us live from Jerusalem. Welcome to you both.

So, Sam, let's go to you first for reaction to what Jared Kushner said there and of course, the glaring omission of the Palestinians.

SAM KILEY, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, the first thing to note is that this is a circle peace accord between countries that weren't in conflict. There's plenty of countries in the Middle East that are in conflict and this deal doesn't address that. So, it's a bit of a misnomer, and it's very much part of the Trump campaign as we approach the November elections.

But, and this is an important but, from the perspective of the Emiratis and the Bahrainis who have repeated at that historic signing in the White House yesterday, or outside the White House yesterday of these documents normalizing relations between Israel and these two different countries, they both endorsed the two-state solution for a future Palestine with its Jerusalem -- with its capital in east Jerusalem.

So that reinvigorates the idea, and it also kind of puts to bed Jared Kushner's own so-called peace plan deal of the century that was rejected by the Palestinians and widely condemned, particularly among the Europeans, for example, as ushering in a potential for an apartheid state if there is any kind of independents or limited independents for Palestinians.

So from the Emerati perspective and the Bahrainian perspective, by having relations with Israel, by having deepening commercial contacts, defense contacts, not only do they shore up the position of this part of the world in terms of Sunni monarchies and the Jewish state standing shoulder to shoulder against what they perceive to be the real threat to their stability, which is Iran.

But also, from the Arab perspective, it gives them a voice with the Israelis they didn't otherwise have before. And there is something that the Israelis have to lose now when it comes to peace negotiations with the Palestinians because the Palestinians have rejected this out of hand as a gigantic betrayal of their cause.

And also, I think it's important to stress that the delicate nature of the relationship between, particularly the Emiratis and Palestinians with Anwar Gargash telling Becky Anderson yesterday in an exclusive interviews that the sovereign decisions of the Emirates are not entirely and only based on the Palestinian issue. They have self- interest to pursue, and they will pursue them.

CHURCH: Indeed. Thanks for that, Sam. And Oren, let's go to you now in Jerusalem. How is this being received in Israel? And what are the Palestinians saying there about this?

OREN LIEBERMANN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, this is an agreement that's generally being welcomed across the Israeli political spectrum, even if everyone here knew that there had been covert relations for years, if not decades between Israel and the United Arab Emirates, and between Israel and Bahrain.

It is still momentous to see this happen on the White House South Lawn. And you get a sense of that by looking at the front pages of any of the newspapers. As-salamu alaykum, it actually uses it's Hebrew but it says in Arabic peace be upon you.

So that is an indication of how significant this is. We saw on the walls of the old city the flags of the UAE and Bahrain. So, this is certainly significant, and certainly is historic.

The Palestinians are furious. They have accused the Bahrainis and the Emiratis of betraying them and some of that fury coming from Gaza, a total last night and overnight of 15 rockets being fired from Gaza into southern Israel. Notably, the first of those rockets were fired as the Emerati foreign minister began to speak.

So, you can see, although of course there is an anger we're used to seeing against Israel, that appeared to be a marked anger directed at the Emiratis as their foreign minister began to speak. And those rockets were fired.

The IDF responded by striking Hamas military targets. So that conflict has certainly not been put to rest by this agreement here as Sam pointed out. Although, with this agreement, President Donald Trump has ended conflicts that never started and hasn't done anything to address the conflicts that are already in the region.

It is worth noting there that this isn't the only story on the Israeli front pages, and that's because as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was in Washington signing these agreements, the coronavirus here is still out of control with a new record of 5,500 cases in one day occurring on the day of this historic ceremony, and pretty much every front page in Israel has some reference to it.


Here is a reference to closures being moved up instead of coming in on Friday. Schools will be closed on Thursday. And you see that across the front pages here.

So, although it was certainly a foreign policy win for Netanyahu and for Trump, he now comes back to serious problems domestically, with the closures set to start making Israel perhaps the first country in the world to reimpose a general lockdown.

CHURCH: Indeed. Sam Kiley in Abu Dhabi, Oren Liebermann in Jerusalem, many thanks to you both.

And much more still ahead on CNN Newsroom, including wildfires in the western U.S. have turned entire neighborhoods to ash and rubble. And authorities are bracing for it to get worse.

Also, ahead, a new political era in Japan, the country's parliament has now officially elected a new prime minister. All the details coming up.


CHURCH: The U.S. State of Alabama is directly in the line of hurricane Sally, which is set to make landfall in the next few hours. This was the site earlier in gulf shores as strong winds whipped through the trees. Florida, Mississippi, and Alabama are already taking a beating from hurricane winds in major rainfall. The region is bracing for what could be historic flooding.

Well parts of the Western United States now have the worst air quality in the world due to the ongoing wildfires. That is according to one monitoring group. Dozens of blazes are filling the sky with smoke and ash and pushing firefighters beyond exhaustion.

In Oregon, the fires are blamed for killing eight people, while at least 16 others are missing.

And CNN's Martin Savidge reports officials are preparing for it to get worse.


MARTIN SAVIDGE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: We're in Estacada, Oregon and the Riverside fire, which has been a massive blaze for over a week now is burning just down that way apiece.

The firefighters have managed to keep it out of town, which is of course good news. They are frantically though trying to take advantage of the relatively good whether they've had, low winds, high humidity. And now there is the prospect of rain. That's good, but it could also bring lightning and winds. And that is not good.

So, the fire crew there's about 450 of them up here are working on the Riverside fire to put out those hotspots, try to contain it as best they can before the weather changes. There are other indications of change, and they're not good. The state of Oregon has announced for the first time, it is going to use its mobile morgue. They've never had to, because it's never had anything quite like this. And it implies that the death toll, which has hovered around eight or 10, is likely to go up.


There are at least 50 people that are reported as either missing or unaccounted for. And so, with mobile morgue and its 75 specialist, they will be able to process those remains in the field.

They know it's likely to be the worst news that any family is going to hear, but there hope is that at least those families won't have to wait long to learn the fate of their loved ones. This is truly very difficult days in the West.

Martin Savidge, CNN, Estacada, Oregon.


ROSEMARY CHURCH, CNN ANCHOR: All right. We want to go back to our meteorologist Pedram Javaheri to update us on the situation with hurricane Sally. What are you seeing, Pedram?

PEDRAM JAVAHERI, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Rosemary, it's still a category two storm system that it has actually strengthened in the last several hours here gradually into a strong category two. Incredibly in just about 10 kilometers per hour shy of being a major hurricane, a category three, as it sits there across the coastal region of course of Alabama and the state of Mississippi. And the concern has always been heavy rainfall, not necessarily the strengthening of the winds here, just because of the slow progression.

In fact, the storm's movement is inversely proportional to rainfall amount which means the slower it goes the higher rain fall amounts it produces. And notice the lower threshold of this is typically 10 kilometers per hour. And on average, it drops about 700 millimeters.

This storm system is moving at around 3 kilometers per hour. And notice again that northern eyewall sitting right along the coast. Those are with the strongest winds of 165 kilometers per hour being experience at this hour.

In fact, very likely, this is the strongest the storm system will be in the most impact, as far as wind is concerned, it will have on land. But again, it's always going to be known for rain. We know it sets a record for the most rainfall across Key West as it was approaching this region on Sunday, about 10 inches or 250 millimeters which was the most rain since we saw hurricane Katrina move across this region back in 2005.

And as it approaches the coast, up to 18 inches or about 400 millimeters has come down. And the reason I wanted to show you this is this is the actual track the storm has taken. So, a lot of the times, people see that forecast cone and think a storm travels in a straight line. They never travel in a straight line. That is just the forecast guidance of where it could travel in any which direction within that cone.

But you will notice, this is the exact almost a signature like track that it has taken, and now it is kind of paralleling and wobbling along the coast as it has the past 24 so hours.

So, we are looking again for additional rounds of rainfall and as much as maybe 250 millimeters before it hopefully it makes landfall in the next few hours and then at this point gradually exits off towards the state of Georgia and off the Carolinas and brings in additional heavy rainfall in this region.

So, here's' what we are looking at and notice a broad expansive coverage of rainfall. The amount of rainfall near the coast could be very similar to the amount of rainfall you get in the central portions of the state of Georgia, or even into South Carolina. And again, this has a lot to do with this very slow progression, even once it does make landfall. Rosemary.

CHURCH: All right. Pedram Javaheri, many thanks. So, of course, we've gotten back to you on regular basis, many thanks. Well, Japan has a new Prime Minister. The country's parliament has

officially voted in Yoshihide Suga to succeed Shinzo Abe. Mr. Abe was among those who cast a vote, and we expect Emperor Naruhito to approve Suga and swear him in as the new Prime Minister next hour. Suga is a longtime confidant of Mr. Abe who held the job for more than eight years. Abe is stepping down because of poor health.

And CNN's Will Ripley is following developments for us from Hong Kong. Good to see you, Will. So, now that Suga has been officially voted in as Japan's new Prime Minister, how will things play out with Emperor Naruhito?

WILL RIPLEY, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: This is the part of the I guess, selection of the Prime Minister, because Japanese people don't vote, they vote for a party and the party leaders and parliamentarians choose the Prime Minister, but this is the part that captures the public's attention, because it's a chance to see the emperor, Emperor Naruhito. So Japan's new emperor will be swearing in Japan's new Prime Minister, the first new Prime Minister in nearly eight years.

And I think this will be a chance for Prime Minister Suga to present himself to the Japanese people, because he is well-known amongst lawmakers. He is somebody who was in the back rooms, hammering out deals, orchestrating and creating and navigating through political conflicts to help Prime Minister Abe try to achieve his goals of economic reform, which has very mixed results, there is eye-popping levels of government debt as a result of Abenomics.

You also have of course the billions spent on the Olympics and questions about what the games are going to look like if it's even going to be safe to have them at all. You have Japan's demographic problems, people who are underemployed, under paid and people are getting older and need to be supported.

So, you have all of these challenges, not to mention the key objective of Suga and Abe, which is to rewrite Japan's pacifist constitution and make Japan a bigger player here in Asia-Pacific in terms of leverage as a key U.S. ally against China.


So a long list of challenges, plus he has to have charisma and star power and things that make Japanese people feel drawn to him. You know, Prime Minister Abe was a third generation Prime Minister. He comes from a family of leaders. It's a political dynasty, about as elite as you can get in terms of Japanese politics.

Suga, son of a strawberry farmer and a schoolteacher who has held odd jobs including a cardboard factory and the famous Tsukiji fish market as he work his way through school.

So, will that every man approach make him more relatable than Abe? Does he have the panache to also meet and hobnob with world leaders like Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin and Xi Jinping? These are the unanswered questions, but what we will see in the next hour is quite a uniquely Japanese ceremony.

CHURCH: Yes, of course as you point out, I mean, Suga is an unknown quantity at this point. He has been very much behind the scenes. This is going to be a tough ask for him, isn't it? To sort of suddenly, he is pushed into the spotlight and there will be great expectations.

RIPLEY: This is why Abe being around for so long gave him a huge advantage. Because Prime Ministers are expected to know the ins and outs of domestic politics, and there are few people who probably know better than, you know, Mr. Suga -- Prime Minister Suga, because he as I said was one of the main driving forces behind Abe's policies.

So, it's basically going to be a continuation of Shinzo Abe's administration. Even the cabinet doesn't have any real surprises. In fact, Shinzo Abe's younger brother is on the cabinet as the defense minister, so, and of course, the defense minister key, because again, they are trying to rewrite that constitution.

So, they are going to move forward with all of the plans that they had when Abe was Prime Minister. But on the international stage, he has to rebuild relationships, he has to get to know the leaders that Abe got to know so well. Suga was there at some of those meetings, but it's very different when you are the Prime Minister as opposed to the chief cabinet secretary, which is kind of like the press secretary and Chief of Staff combined.

CHURCH: Right, and Will Ripley, we will talk to you again in the next hour. Of course, when the emperor swears in the new Prime Minister. Will Ripley, joining us live from Hong Kong. Many thanks.

Well, moving now to another sign Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny is on the mend. He posted a picture on Instagram of himself and his family from his hospital bed in Berlin. The Kremlin critic says he can hardly do anything, but he is able to breathe on his own. Navalny became violently ill after drinking tea at an airport in Siberia last month. German doctors say he was poisoned with the nerve agent Novichok. Russia denies any involvement.

Well, French officials warn they could run out of hospital beds if COVID-19 numbers don't start dropping. Coming, up we are live from one hot spot as France battles a surge in cases.



CHURCH: Well, COVID infections are rising in India faster than any other country and cases there have now topped 5 million. The death toll there crossed 80,000 on Tuesday. India's infection rate has increased exponentially in recent weeks after taking almost six months to record 1 million cases.

And two major French cities are facing tougher rules as they try to contain COVID-19. Bordeaux in the southwest and Marseille on the Mediterranean coasts have emerged as virus hotspots. This as France sees some of the worst new infection rates in Europe. The tighter restrictions cover things like outdoor events, beach gatherings and nursing home visits.

And for the latest, CNN's Melissa Bell is live in Bordeaux. She joins us now. Good to see you, Melissa. So, what's driving the surge in cases in Bordeaux, and what new restrictions are they putting in place right now?

MELISSA BELL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Rosemary, these restrictions as you mentioned are now being put in place locally. We saw this shift in the government's position on this in a manner that is going about trying to bring these figures under control.

So far, decisions have been made in Paris for the rest of the country. Now, its hotspots like Bordeaux and Marseille are making their own decisions, announcing their own restrictions, to try and bring down that rise in the number of new cases. But also, what we are now seeing in these hotpots which is a surge in the number of hospitalizations.


BELL: It's the young driving the newest wave of COVID-19, French officials say. Now they are passing it on to their older relatives. This dramatization by health authorities meant as a warning of how France's rising numbers are now beginning to lead to a strain on hospitals. Like this one in Bordeaux, one of France's hotspots. The head of the ICU says it is now nearing capacity with very little known about its longer term ability to cope.

OLIVER JOANNES BOYAU, HEAD OF ICU UNIT, BORDEAUX UNIVERSITY HOSPITAL: Second wave is probably less high, with less patients that arrive at the same moment, but unfortunately, probably more prolonged.

BELL: For the doctors and nurses on the front line, it's about dealing with a virus that is here to stay. This hospital is preparing for the arrival of more COVID-19 patients, but unlike last spring, will continue to treat other emergencies as well.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): The University hospital will be dealing with those two populations, and that is what makes the situation harder. It's also going to be harder than last time, because this wave, I think, will grow progressively, and then last over time.

BELL: But as he shows us around the ICU, Dr. Joannes Bayou says that at least now lot more is known. The use of steroids and specially adapted ventilators that can now avoid contamination mean that this time, intubations are down 50 percent since the spring he says.

But intubation is dangerous and intubation is painful and it's a last resort.

BAYOU: Yes. Intubation increase the risk of (inaudible). Sometimes we don't have a choice and we have to intubate the patient and ventilate the patient, because he's not able to use the oxygen that we bring to him.

BELL: So doctors are better at dealing with COVID-19, but that doesn't mean they are not worried. BAYOU: The major problem is to keep the wave really, really low. If

the wave grow up a lot, we will face a large number of patients with COVID that will come and we will not be able to treat and to manage all of the patients.

BELL: With capacity fast approaching and the hospitals in France's hotspots, it's a question of the system's ability to cope that is once again being posed, let's dramatically, but no less urgently.


BELL: Another problem they face, Rosemary is that this time around, they have nurses and doctors who are themselves sick. They've been off on holidays in the summer and may have caught COVID-19 so that their staff members are down to deal with the rising figures.

Now, I mentioned these latest announcements made for Bordeaux things like limiting the size of gatherings, making enforcement tougher. They are going to have more checks, police checks to make sure you are wearing your mask for instance when you are in the city center.

But what the doctor in that piece was explaining to us, Rosemary, is that it takes about three weeks for any measure that has been taken to then show a consequence and effect in the general population's health.

Now, that three-week period, of course, is something they simply don't have time to wait for, because, as we were saying, they are reaching capacity. And the question is whether the system will hold long enough for what are piecemeal measures being applied locally to have the impacts that authorities, if they will. Rosemary?

CHURCH: It is a lesson to us all to not let our guard down. Melissa Bell, thanks so much for that report. I appreciate it.

Well, Indonesia is making an example out of people who violate the mask mandate there.


Eight people were ordered to dig graves for victims of the coronavirus. Dozens of others have been fined for violating health protocols. And this comes as the country re-imposes coronavirus restrictions with cases and deaths continuing to rise. Indonesia has the highest number of coronavirus fatalities in Southeast Asia, with nearly 9,000 dead from the virus.

A warning, our next report contains images you may find disturbing. They are from an ambush onto Los Angeles County sheriff's deputies. They were shot multiple times last weekend by an unknown assailant, and after the attack came some tremendous courage.

Sara Sidner has our report.


SARA SIDNER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: An incredible show of bravery, a 31- year-old L.A. Sheriff's Deputy profusely bleeding from a bullet to the face is seen helping save her 24-year-old partner.

She applies a tourniquet to his bloodied arm and helps him move behind a pillar to avoid taking on more fire. Both have already been shot multiple times. Surveillance video shows the ambush. A shooter fires into their car while they sit in their vehicle outside a metro stop in Compton.

MAYOR ERIC GARCETTI (D-LA): The female Deputy, after getting shot, both of them four or five times, her with a broken jaw in the face, stepped out, gave a tourniquet to her fellow deputy who had been shot in the head as well. She probably saved his life while calling for help.

SIDNER: She and her partner had just become deputies 14 months ago. The mother of a six year-old is seen here as she proudly graduated from the police academy in 2019. As they are recovering from their injuries at the hospital, a callous call for their death by a gathering of about five people outside the hospital.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (BEEP) -- the police.

SIDNER: The leader of the group that call itself L.A.'s Africa Town Coalition says he hopes the shooting is in retaliation for the shooting of black and brown people by the LASD. The most recent shooting sparked protests in Compton, when deputies shut Dijon Kizzee for an alleged bicycle violation. The family says Kizzee was shot in the back, an investigation is still underway.

KEVIN WHARTON PRICE, AFRICA TOWN COALITION LOS ANGELES: This is the start of retribution that I think this is a very good start.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Everybody is set to go, I assume.

SIDNER: The LASD has faced serious controversy over the years. Its sheriff convicted of lying in 2016 was fired and jailed. There has also been a lawsuit brought accusing deputies of forming a gang inside the department.

The most recent accusation and a complaint by a deputy, a whistleblower said in a deposition, deputies formed a gang called the Executioners in Compton. He says they supported the same tattoos and used excessive force on suspects.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Me being a field trained officer, you know, I'm a supervisor and I have to report this behavior.

SIDNER: The Sheriff Deputies Union responded to those claims.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The accusations of there being criminal gangs within the sheriff's department, that's ridiculous.

SIDNER: California Congresswoman Karen Bass responding to the union and the horrific shooting.

REP. KAREN BASS (D-CA): That was horrific that happened. But that gang issue is one that surfaces in the sheriff's department every few years. And for the union to say that they don't believe that exists, I think is a problem.

SIDNER: But they both agree, even the idea of retaliation like this is sickening.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So the people, the group that came out here and screamed we hope you die, that in itself is also pathetic. Maybe not as bad as the guy that actually pulled the trigger, but it's just as bad.

SIDNER: The reward for anyone with information that leads to an arrest in this horrific shooting has now risen to $275,000.

Sara Sidner, CNN, Linwood, California.


CHURCH: Well, the city of Louisville, Kentucky has agreed to pay a record settlement of $12 million to the family of Breonna Taylor, the young woman fatally shot by police as they mistakenly stormed her apartment in March. Taylor's death led to months of protest across America as part of the Black Lives Matter movement against police brutality.

The city admitted to no wrongdoing, but did agree to institute sweeping police reforms as part of the settlement. Taylor's family say they will continue to push for criminal charges against the officers involved.


TAMIKA PALMER, BREONNA TAYLOR'S MOTHER: As significant as today is, it's only the beginning of getting full justice for Breonna. It's time to move forward with the criminal charges, because she deserves that and much more. Her beautiful spirit and personality is working through all of us on the ground. So please, continue to say her name.



CHURCH: To the rest of the world, when it comes to handling the pandemic, U.S. President Trump is less trustworthy than China's Xi Jinping and Russia's Vladimir Putin. A Pew research survey of people in 13 countries finds the image of the U.S. has plummeted. Isa Soares has our reports.


ISA SOARES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: As more American lives are lost every day, President Trump continues to defend his handling of COVID-19.

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: And I took tremendous steps and saved probably 2 or 2.5 million lives by doing what we did early.

SOARES: Internationally however, the world doesn't share his self- appraisal. According to a new report by the Pew Research Center of 13 nations, a median of just 15 percent of people believe the U.S. has done a good job handling the crisis. Even China, where the pandemic began, received better reviews than the U.S. Pew, which polled over 13,000 people from early June to early August, also found that internationally, the view of the United States overall has plummeted. In some countries, it has never been lower.

How about President Trump? How did these nations rate him? According to Pew, the median here, 16 percent of all nations surveyed have confidence in Trump to do the right thing in world affairs and when compared to other leaders, while the president doesn't stack up very well, behind Xi Jinping of China and Vladimir Putin of Russia.

Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany, who the president has criticized in the past, received the highest approval rating, with a median of 76 percent of those surveyed having confidence in her leadership. But with less than 50 days until the U.S. Election, President Trump's focus likely isn't on how he is perceived internationally. Rather, it is about rallying enough support inside America, ahead of the November 3rd poll. Isa Soares, CNN, London.


CHURCH: And we'll be back in just a moment.


CHURCH: Welcome back. Well, perhaps you have heard the term white elephant. It refers to an extravagant, impractical thing you just can't dispose of. Mexico's president has won, a giant lavishly appointed 787 airplane.

And as CNN's Matt Rivers reports, getting rid of it has been quite a challenge.


MATT RIVERS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: On Tuesday, as this tradition in Mexico, a group of kids read out the winning numbers for a lottery. Except nothing was normal about this lottery. This is the combination of the saga of a presidential plane. It's started simple enough.

In 2012, Mexico's government bought a roughly $220 million presidential plane. Critics said it was excessive, be at the leather bound and extra white seats, the king size bed, or the boardroom.

The current President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador toured the plane in a few weeks ago and said his predecessors live like kings. He has never used it and has promised to sell it since taking office in late 2018, to no avail.

So it was in January of this year, he announced he would raffle off the plane. Anybody could simply buy a ticket, win, and the wide bodied Boeing 787 would be all yours. That prompted questions. For one, where would you park it? And what about the maintenance?


The president said we would offer the winner one or two years of maintenance. The raffle quickly became a national joke. The #Si Me Gano El Avion, if I won the plane went viral, with memes mocking the contest. So the president changed tactics. The plane raffle would remain, but the prize would not be the plane. Instead, 100 winners would win about 1 million dollars.

Despite these lines, the government has actually had trouble selling enough tickets to actually be able to pay out the prizes that they said they would. In fact, it took them more than six 6 months to sell the required amount of tickets. The government over the summer turned the raffle into a call to help fight the pandemic. Any money that doesn't go to winners will go to public hospitals.

This ticket buyer says I am hoping that this helps the hospitals where so much COVID exist. But the latest sales data shows that there's only about $5 million that won't get paid to the winners or about enough for only a little more than 5 grand for each public health facility treating COVID patients.

The government did give out roughly 1,000 raffle tickets to each of those hospitals. If they win, they can use the money to buy medical supplies. But it's a lottery, not a budget allocation.

Critics have long said the public health system is chronically underfunded and the idea that this raffle can substantively help is absurd, a mere distraction from the government's failings during the coronavirus crisis. Many in the country think the people should have spent their money elsewhere.

This woman says, oh, I don't know maybe to people that aren't working right now and don't have enough to eat. The winners of the lottery will be announced in the next few days. Here is hoping that some of the Mexican hospitals entered in the contest actually win. Meanwhile, if you are in the market for a 787, I got an idea for you.

Matt Rivers, CNN, Mexico City.


CHURCH: And just this quick programming note, be sure to catch CNN's town hall with Democratic presidential nominee, Joe Biden, moderated by Anderson Cooper. That is 1:00 a.m. Friday in London, 8:00 a.m. in Hong Kong, only here on CNN.

And thanks so much for joining us. I am Rosemary Church. I will be back with more news in just a moment. Do stick around.