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U.S. & Vietnam Unveil "Comprehensive Strategic Partnership"; Nation Observes 22nd Anniversary Of 9/11 Attacks; World Central Kitchen In Morocco To Help Feed Quake Victims; Libyan Official: 2,000- Plus Feared Dead In Flooding; Michigan State Suspends Head Football Coach; Spanish Soccer Chief Resigns Amid Kiss Scandal. Aired 1:30-2p ET

Aired September 11, 2023 - 13:30   ET




JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: It's not about isolating China. It's about making sure the rules of the road, everything from air space and space in the ocean, and the international rules of the road are abided by.

And so -- and I hope that -- I think that Prime Minister Xi -- I mean, Xi has some difficulties right now. All countries end up with difficulties. And some economic difficulties are working its way through.


KAYLA TAUSCHE, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: President Biden did not meet with President Xi. He did not attend the G-20 summit in New Delhi, India.

But he did meet with China's number two and he said he hopes to meet with Xi sometime soon -- Boris?

BORIS SANCHEZ, CNN HOST: Kayla Tausche, thank you so much for the update.


BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN HOST: It's been 22 years since terrorists attacked the U.S. World Trade Center, the Pentagon and a field in Shanksville, Pennsylvania.

Today Americans across the nation are remembering the tragedy of that day. They're honoring the thousands of victims and first responders.

CNN's Brynn Gingras is at the Ground Zero memorial site.

Brynn, this year, there's a special focus on survivors who are still suffering from illnesses associated with 9/11, illnesses that in many cases have cost lives. BRYNN GINGRAS, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, that's right. People

are continuing to lose loved ones from this tragedy. If you think about it, Brianna, 22 years ago it happened.

And this ceremony here just wrapped up. The reading of more than 2,000, almost nearly 3,000 people who were killed here on 9/11, the names were read.

And a special focus was on children, incorporating children into the reading of those names.

As organizers tell me, this was important because they wanted to signify that children, the next generation, they need to know what happened, and continue talking about the stories of those lives lost as we move forward.

I want to watch a moment of that during the ceremony.


UNIDENTIFIED BOY: And my uncle, Uncle Knoll, I'm so proud to be named after you. I love hearing stories about you. And I try to follow your example, showing kindness to everyone I meet and living life to the fullest.

Our family misses you and we ask you to please continue watching over us. You'll never be forgotten, Uncle Knoll.

UNIDENTIFIED BOY: And my uncle, Richard Michael Caviano (ph). Even though we never met, I always wonder how good of an uncle you would have been. I will always love you and you will always hold a special place in my heart.


GINGRAS: And I actually saw that second little boy. He was taking a picture with the rest of his family with his uncle's picture by the name here at the memorial.

There are so many emotional moments like that. I spoke to a woman whose husband passed away on 9/11. She doesn't come back for the ceremony yearly but she did this year because her son, now 22 years old, was reading some of those names. He was 10 months old when his father died on 9/11.

So many emotional moments today. But also just a day of remembrance and honoring those lives lost, the heroes.

And also just remembering to tell the stories so that we continue to honor the people who lost their lives on this day and never forget -- Brianna?

KEILAR: That's right. We will never forget. But it's such a reminder how everyone does experience it differently. Someone who is only 10 months old and yet it defines their life but in a different way than their mother. Brynn, thank you so much for bringing that us. We appreciate it.


JIM SCIUTTO, CNN HOST: I can't believe it's been 22 years.

We head back to Morocco next as people there plead for food and shelter. We're going to speak with one of the organizations scrambling to provide aid.


And the embattled president of Spanish soccer has resigned following weeks of criticism after he kissed a player without her consent. Ahead, hear what he had to say about his decision.


SCIUTTO: As rescuers race to find survivors in the aftermath of the catastrophic earthquake in Morocco, relief workers are also rushing into the country to help the survivors as their desperation and their need grows.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translation): Anias (ph) is suffering. No bread and electricity and water. People are suffering and aid is late. Some are stuck in roads, some lack food and shelter. We are 12 or 13 in the tent, including kids and parents. The situation is dire.


SCIUTTO: So dire, but help is on the way. One of the first charities to arrive on the scene, as is often the case, was World Central Kitchen. That's the humanitarian organization founded by the Chef Jose Andres.

It is often one of the first to arrive after natural disasters like this. It's also been on the ground in Ukraine since Russia's invasion nearly two years ago.

Zomi Frankcom is the senior management for Asia operations at World Central Kitchen. And she joins us now from Marrakesh.

Zomi, tell us what the level of need is there, how far, how wide, how many people need to be fed?

ZOMI FRANKCOM, SENIOR MANAGEMENT FOR ASIA OPERATIONS, WORLD CENTRAL KITCHEN: At the moment, World Central Kitchen, we have eyes in the sky. We've been doing aerial assessments and feeding at the same time.


And we have also teams who are going into the high Atlas Mountains on high-clearance four-wheel drives.

And so at the moment, we're still assessing what that need is. But we do know it is great and it is geographically distributed.

And we will overcome in challenges to meet that need with the help of your Moroccan teams who have been absolutely our superpower at being able to meet that need.

SCIUTTO: We have pictures that show the other services you provide there, including medical rescue using helicopters that World Central Kitchen has there.

Tell us how you manage that, along with your main focus, which is feeding people who are hungry.

FRANKCOM: Absolutely. As you say, World Central Kitchen's laser focus is on providing fresh meals, which provides hope and comfort in times such as these which are absolutely terrible.

But a plus side of using helicopter transportation to bring those two communities who are caught off at the margins is that once the fresh meals and border are distributed to the community, we then have space in those assets to be able to help with medical evacuations --


FRANKCOM: -- and is bring back people who would otherwise have been challenged to get to medical attention.

SCIUTTO: Let's put that picture back up on the screen if we can. Because it shows the danger that you and your teams put yourselves through. That's a helicopter hanging off the edge of a mountain dirt road there. It shows the risks you're taking.

One thing I've appreciated following the work of World Central Kitchen is that you also bring good food to folks there. You cook with local tastes in mind and local food supplies in mind.

Tell us how you're managing that in Morocco.

FRANKCOM: So we're absolutely blessed to be a chef-led organization. And so we have that in mind whenever we are creating meals for communities and so there will be more comforting meals on the menu.

At present, we are really just trying to get to as many places as possible. And so currently, it's sandwiches. But there will be Moroccan delicacies and specialties to be serving to those communities very, very soon.

SCIUTTO: You're still in Ukraine. That's a different situation. It's an ongoing war. You were in Turkey for at least a couple of months.

How long do you expect you'll need to be in Morocco?

FRANKCOM: We'll be here for as long as we are needed during this acute emergency phase. And so we are still uncovering a lot of need and so we will keep going as long as we are needed.

SCIUTTO: Well, we do appreciate the work you're doing. We're glad we got a chance to highlight it. And we wish you the best of luck.

Zomi Frankcom, thanks so much.

And for you at home --

FRANKCOM: Thank you.

SCIUTTO: -- for more on how you can help those impacted by the earthquake in Morocco, please go to There are a lot of great vetted options there as always.


SANCHEZ: Staying in northern Africa, we're following a developing story out of Libya. A government official telling state media that more than 2,000 people could be dead because of flooding after a powerful storm.

CNN's Ben Wedeman has been following this story for us.

Ben, what more are you learning?

BEN WEDEMAN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, what we understand is that Osama Hamada, who is the prime minister of the breakaway government of eastern Libya, has announced that at least 2,000 people have been killed and 5,000 are missing as a result of floods caused by Storm Daniel that has been ripping through the eastern Mediterranean.

Now, the focus of the damage, it appears, is the city of Derna. I've been there. It's at the bottom of a mountain through which and, through Derna, runs what's normally a dry riverbed.

But it appears, from the video that we're seeing on social media, that the amount of water that's just rushing through the city has caused destruction similar to what we're seeing from southern Morocco.

This official, the prime minister who cited these numbers, didn't say the source of them.

So far, for instance, the Libyan Red Crescent Society is saying that perhaps the death toll is between 150 and 250. But certainly, what we're seeing is that this storm is causing a huge amount of damage.

Basically, for eastern Libya, two-thirds of the annual rainfall fell in one day alone.


Now there are some reports that what happened was, as a result of this massive amount of rainfall, a dam, up river from the city of Berna, burst and just sent this wall of water -- it looks like a tsunami - rushing, just crashing through the middle of that city.

And it appears that entire buildings have been simply washed into the sea -- Boris? SANCHEZ: Ben Wedeman, thank you so much.


KEILAR: Now to some of the other headlines that we are watching this hour.

It has been a record-breaking year for the most expensive weather and climate disasters in the United States.

With four months left in 2023, the U.S. has been hit with 23 disasters that cost at least $1 billion each. In total, severe storms and deadly wildfires have amounted to $57.6 billion in damage. That price tag does not yet include Hurricane Idalia.

Also, the American Red Cross sounding the alarm, saying the U.S. blood supply is at a critically low level after falling nearly 25 percent since early August.

The organization blames back-to-back months of extreme weather events that forced the cancellation of blood drives. The Red Cross provides about 40 percent of the blood and blood components that are used in U.S. medical facilities.

And Drew Barrymore is defending her plans to resume her talk show amid the ongoing writer and actor strikes.

She says on Instagram, quote, "Our show was built for sensitive times and has only functioned through what the real world is going through in real time," end quote.

The Writers Guild of America is planning to protest production of Barrymore's show.


SANCHEZ: A new scandal for a school that has seen so many. Michigan State University's football coach reportedly facing an accusation of sexual harassment from a woman who is an advocate for victims of sexual abuse. We have details on that.

And in just a few minutes, we're going to get an update for the manhunt going on in Pennsylvania. An escaped killer, police looking for him, admitting now that he's farther away than they once thought. We're going to hear from officials in just a few minutes.




SCIUTTO: Michigan State has now suspended head football coach, Mel Tucker, without pay following an investigation into potential sexual misconduct. The allegations were first reported in "USA Today," and involve a

woman who is a rape survivor and victims' advocate. She's accusing Tucker of behaving inappropriately during a phone call.

We should note, CNN is working to independently verify the details of the "USA Today" reporting.

CNN's Don Riddell has been following it.

Don, as you know, the university says this investigation began back in December. Do we know where it stands now?

DON RIDDELL, CNN HOST: Well, let's bring you up to date, Jim. This investigation has been months in the making and it comes on the heels of a report of a Saturday evening by "USA Today."

According to the report, Tucker alleged to have engaged in sexual misconduct while on a phone call with Brenda Tracy. She is a survivor. She was raped in 1998 and has since begun an advocacy group to help other victims.

"USA Today" says that Tracy reported the call to the university's Title IX office.

And she told the newspaper, quote, "The idea that someone could know me and say they understand my trauma but then re-inflict that trauma on me is so disgusting to me. It's hard for me to even wrap my mind around it. It's like he sought me out just to betray me."

CNN has not independently verified the details of the "USA Today" report.

Tucker, in his fourth year at Michigan State's head coach and is among the highest paid coaches in college football.

He told Title IX investigators, quote, "Ms. Tracy's distortion of our mutually consensual and intimate relationship into allegations of sexual exploitation has really affected me."

He went on, "I'm not proud of my judgment and I'm having difficulty forgiving myself for getting into the situation. But I did not engage in misconduct by any definition."

Michigan State's interim president says an investigative report was submitted in July. And the full hearing will take place early October.

Secondary coach, Harlon Barnett, will take Tucker's place on an interim basis.

CNN has reached out to Tracy and her attorney. We did that on Sunday, but we've not yet heard back.

We've also reached out to Tucker's agent following the announcement of his suspension but we've not heard back on that either.

SCIUTTO: We'll continue to follow the results of that investigation. But another story we've been following closely, that of the Spanish

Soccer Federation President Luis Rubiales who resisted calls for some time to resign following this kiss that happened with a player against her will, she says, following their victory in the World Cup.

He has now resigned. Do we know what put this over the edge in the end?

RIDDELL: He's spoken about it in an interview with Piers Morgan in English. We'll hear more from that interview on I believe Tuesday night.

But he has released a statement. And it sounds like he's kind of conceding defeat. As you know, Jim, he really was pretty defiant during the last three weeks.

We thought he would step down at one point. He held a press conference with a lot of his supporters in the room and he basically then decided he was going to carry on.

But we say "finally" and we have to wonder if this really is the end of it.


He's somewhat lacked contrition throughout this process. He has apologized, but he then speaks in a way that makes it sound like he isn't really that sorry.

He says he is going to fight to clear his name. He's talking about the excessive persecution and the many falsehoods he's faced.

As Spain's equality minister said, it's over. But is it? He, of course, is now facing a legal situation, because the national prosecutor in Spain has filed a complaint of sexual abuse.

And what are the players going to do? Remember, they had all said in the days after winning the World Cup that they wouldn't play again until the leadership had been removed.

Rubiales is now gone. The head coach was also fired last week. Enough for them? We'll see. Their next game is in 11 days' time.

SCIUTTO: A long drama there.

Don Riddell, thanks so much.


KEILAR: New concerns about the whereabouts of an escaped killer as the manhunt approaches the end of its second week. Just minutes from now, we will hear from police about where Danelo Cavalcante may be in Pennsylvania and why police haven't yet caught him.

And some news just into CNN. A first step in approving updated vaccines for Covid this fall. We'll have that next. This is CNN NEWS CENTRAL.