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Hong Kong Suspends Extradition Bill; Amanda Knox to Speaking at Conference Next Hour; David Ortiz Was Not Intended Target of Gunman; FIFA Women's World Cup. Aired 3-4a ET

Aired June 15, 2019 - 03:00   ET




CYRIL VANIER, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): Hong Kong's leader could soon announce plans to press pause on a deeply unpopular extradition bill. We're waiting for Carrie Lam to speak. We'll bring you that live. We'll be live in Hong Kong.

Plus a U.S. official cites more evidence that Iran was behind the brazen attack on two oil tankers.

And later in the show a new report finds that some of your favorite breakfast foods might contain a controversial weed killer. We'll look at the study, the science and the skepticism behind the report.

Live from the CNN Center here in Atlanta, I'm Cyril Vanier. It's great to have you with us.


VANIER: So a pro-democracy lawmaker in Hong Kong is telling CNN that the city's chief executive is expected to announce that she is postponing the extradition bill that sparked massive protests in the city. Carrie Lam is set to speak to reporters any minute now. We'll bring you that live when it happens.

Journalist Steve Chao is in Hong Kong. He's monitoring that for us.

So, Steve, run us through how that decision process would have happened.

Would that be with Carrie Lam's cabinet?

Would that be with pro-Beijing lawmakers?

How would that work?

STEVE CHAO, JOURNALIST: Well, Cyril, it's likely with a number of people on different layers. We understand from our sources that Carrie Lam has been meeting with her own pro-Beijing lawmakers as to what to do over the last few weeks, especially as we saw those mass demonstrations, where organizers say more than a million people took to the streets against this extradition bill.

At the same time there is no question that Carrie Lam would be speaking to people in Beijing, in the central government, as to exactly how to approach this, how to push forward.

We know that there's been pressure on a lot of fronts, not only domestically, among Hong Kong people here, that have been citing concerns that this bill would actually open them up to being taken off for trial in the mainland if they voiced their dissent against the central government, but also we've had a lot of pressure from the international community, from the U.S., from Canada, from Britain, citing concerns about this bill.

The question now is, is this postponement long term?

Is it short term?

We're unclear about this. But what we do know is that protesters remain determined to try and push Carrie Lam to scrap the bill altogether.

Joining me is Yoyo Chan, one of the protesters.

Thank you so much for being with us. I understand you've been on hunger strike for the last three days.


CHAO: What are your thoughts about Carrie Lam's expected announcement that she's postponing this extradition bill?

CHAN: I don't think it's anywhere like acceptable because like for me I think like what we demand is that we want to withdraw the bill. And then suspending it doesn't mean anything to us. And it's just like buying herself time or buying the government time.

CHAO: The question is whether perhaps this suspension or this delay will give time for Carrie Lam to consult the people, to consult democracy, lawmakers, to consult Beijing lawmakers to try to find a middle ground.

Do you believe that that is her intent?

CHAN: I mean, given the credibility that she has nothing left, like she doesn't have any credibility left anyway. And I mean, like the bill is problematic in itself. Of course there are some amendments that can be done. But I don't think the bill is anywhere acceptable for us.

CHAO: Has she not shown some concessions, though?

Over the last few weeks she said, yes, with this extradition bill it would not apply to those involved in white-collar crime, which has addressed some of the concerns of the business community, which is very important here. She also said that, you know, this bill would not be used against

political dissidents, if you will, or others that voice critical opinions of the central government.

CHAN: I don't think that's like -- I don't believe in that because according to the article of -- in the bill -- I think it's number 45, Article 45 -- it states that like any kind of crime, something like this, like can be sent back to China.

So it's not exactly you're persecuted for being a political dissident. It's because you can be persecuted anywhere and be sent back to China, where criminal justice does not exist.

And that's really problematic because the criminal justice system or the legal system in China has been known to be persecuting political dissidents or Africans (ph). And that is not -- they may not put a crime -- they may not charge you for like -- for anything like infringement or national security.

But anyway, it's -- I mean, they can always find excuse.

CHAO: Carrie Lam earlier this week was very insistent that at first she wasn't going to postpone this bill, that it was going to be pushed forward and that protesters were simply --


CHAO: -- immature in their perspectives of what this bill means.

CHAN: I think that's disgusting. I mean, as the government of Hong Kong, you should really listen to people. You're a civil servant. So listen to the people. I mean, that's like -- she's not listening.

And then she just like disregard like everything that we have done so far. I mean, there were 103 million protesters who came out and then say that, hey, you should take this back.

CHAO: 1.3 million, yes.

CHAN: And she just like -- this is not acceptable. When she just like, oh, no, because you're being naive or something like this. You are being naive when you don't listen to people.

CHAO: So what are you calling for in this period of possible postponement?

CHAN: I mean, for us, like for me, I think we still demand the withdrawal of the bill.

And, second, because there are so many things going on or so many things have happened on the 12th of June, so the second will be end police brutality.

And then like it should be someone who has been -- someone should be held accountable for what happened that day, for the excessive use of force. (CROSSTALK)

CHAO: You're talking about the protests that happened this Wednesday --

CHAN: On Wednesday.

CHAO: -- when police fired tear gas, rubber bullets at protesters.

CHAN: Yes.

CHAO: You believe it's excessive force.

CHAN: It's really excessive force. Because I've been in touch with the protesters. I mean, like the day before -- the night before, I was here and helping out and then I talked to students and a lot of them were just like 14 to 15.

And they're like really humble. They were very helpful and very selfless. And they have their own thoughts.

For myself, I couldn't even know what I was doing when I was 14 or 15. But they hold themselves together. They unite themselves together. It's a movement that doesn't need any leaders. Everyone is a leader. And they just like join forces together, which is beautiful in itself.

I mean, like on the day of the 12th of June, I don't see any form of violence from the protesters.

CHAO: According to the police, they had bricks thrown at them, they had sharpened sticks thrown at them as well and 20 police officers were injured. This is according to the police chief.

How far will you go now?

Now that we have a postponement, will you still continue your hunger strike?

Will you still continue protesting?

CHAN: So what we do is if Carrie Lam really announce they would suspend the bill, we will finish the -- our goal is 103 hours. And then to echo the number of people who came out on last Sunday.

But then afterwards we'll stop. But if Carrie Lam bring it back or the government bring the bill back, we will be back and we'll come back out and then protest and go on strike again.

CHAO: Why take this drastic measure of going on a hunger strike?

CHAN: I've been looking for ways of, thinking of ways of how to do this. After the protest on Sunday, obviously the government refused to listen to us.

CHAO: This past Sunday when 1.03 million turned out. CHAN: Yes. And I've been looking for ways to make a louder statement but in a more passive way because I realize I'm not really the most well-built (ph) person and then I couldn't really be on the front and I'm not like fast enough and I don't want to be my peers' burden.

So I'm thinking of a more passive but resilient but also strong way to protest. And I think it's also important to widen the spectrum of protests because, I mean, given what happened in previous years, like more peaceful protesters and more radical protesters have been split into two camps, which is -- which just fractured people, who are like pursuing democracy.

And I think this time people really come together and looking for different ways to protest and make our voices here in different ways to address to the government and also to different more audience.

CHAO: We've heard over the last while that many people feel in Hong Kong there's been an erosion of freedoms and this is the last line in terms of taking a stand.

Do you see that for yourself?

Do you believe that's true?

CHAN: Yes, I do believe it's true. I mean, the legal system will be crumbled. The judicial system of Hong Kong will crumble.

CHAO: You're saying if this extradition bill goes through.

CHAN: Yes, in the past. It's just a huge threat to the basic freedoms and human rights of Hong Kong. Take, for example, I'm a writer and a translator. And then I would like -- I would be like more careful with what I write because you don't want to -- or else you would have to pay a lot of serious consequences.

Like the writers or activists in China. Basically we still want the freedom, a freedom from fear. That's what we are looking forward to.

CHAO: Yoyo Chan, thank you very much for joining us.

CHAN: Thank you so much.

CHAO: As you heard from Yoyo, protesters are still determined to make their point. They will come back out if Carrie Lam decides to continue a debate on the extradition bill. We're now just waiting for Carrie Lam --


CHAO: -- to speak to the press.

VANIER: Steve, thank you very much. That's a very interesting conversation to follow with your guest. She was on a -- she is on a hunger strike and she says, like your previous guest said the previous hour, that they will continue to protest tomorrow, regardless of what Carrie Lam announces today. Now it's 10 minutes past 3:00 pm where you are. Carrie Lam was

expected to speak at 3:00. I understand that she is currently meeting with pro-Beijing lawmakers, so we expect to hear from her moments from now. We'll bring you that live.

Steve, I want to ask you, if she says what we are expecting her to say and if the chief executive announces that she is postponing this controversial bill, will that mean that protesters have won?

Because the last two protesters you spoke to, they said, no; we'll still be back in the street tomorrow.

CHAO: Well, that's right. The reason they're saying that, they're telling us, is because they have a lot of suspicion as to the reasons behind this postponement. They believe this is a strategy by Carrie Lam, a strategy by pro Beijing lawmakers, perhaps a strategy by the government in Beijing to allow the anger we've seen on the streets to dissipate and, once that's dissipated, once the people have fully dispersed, they will reintroduce this bill and try to push it through.

So no one wants to let their guard down at the moment, which is why rights groups are saying we're still going to push ahead with Sunday's protests, with calls for a general strike on Monday to keep the pressure on Carrie Lam to live through this.

There is no question Carrie Lam has come under a great deal of pressure over the last few days, over the last several weeks --


VANIER: Steve, respectfully I'm going to interrupt you for a second. We're seeing Carrie Lam, the chief executive of the Hong Kong government, step up to the podium. She is going to address the media, going to address Hong Kongers.

We expect that she will be making remarks in both Chinese and English. We will bring you the English remarks live as soon as those happen. I want to listen in just a second. Right now she's making her remarks in Chinese. So we'll dip back in as soon as she makes those remarks in English.

Steve, I want to go back to you. You were explaining that protesters were going to be in the street tomorrow and continue making their case, whatever is announced in the next few minutes.

Now it's important to remind our viewers that there are two sides to this story. There are two arguments here. And there are those pro- Beijing supporters that believe that this law is warranted, that this law is justified, that this law is not an encroachment, in their telling of it, on the freedoms of Hong Kong.

I understand we now have translation of Carrie Lam. Let's listen in to that.

CARRIE LAM, HONG KONG CHIEF EXECUTIVE (through translator): -- arrangement to deal with 170 countries and regions where we haven't yet got a long-term agreement to implement this rendering of (INAUDIBLE) offenders.

As a responsible government I believe that we have to try our utmost to find a way to deal with it. On the one hand, dealing with the Taiwan homicide case, so as to uphold justice, so as to do justice for the victim of the case and be accountable to the parents of the victim.

Then we can improve the legal system in Hong Kong so we can't give refuge for fugitive offenders. This is exactly why we would like to move amendments to the fugitive offenders' ordinance as well as the mutual legal assistance in criminal matters ordinance.

That's our original legislative intent. We carefully looked at what was carried out in other places. In February this year, we formally started the consultation exercise. A proposal was based on the existing legislation.

And we have taken into account the procedural safeguards, the human rights safeguards, including the courts row (ph) as well as our fair and open judicial system. All such have been retained.

We have been talking to all parties and all walks of life. We have been listening to the bills. Well, the suspect in the Taiwan homicide case is now serving a sentence in the jail of Hong Kong for other offenses.

We would like to pass the legislation in July this year, bearing in mind the fact we have listened to the bills of the society and on two occasions we have already made changes. First of all, before the formal introduction of the bill in (INAUDIBLE), we have taken away nine items of offenses that are --


LAM (through translator): -- extraditable. And then for the punishment threshold, instead of one year imprisonment, we have changed it to three years imprisonment.

Another round of change took place after the introduction of the bill and then for the punishment threshold it was changed from three years or above to seven years or above. That would be the maximum punishment threshold.

We've also enhanced the human rights safeguards so as to ease the worries of the society, so as to secure more support. I myself and development officials have done our utmost. However, I have to admit that, in terms of explanation and communication, there were indeed inadequacies.

Many citizens of Hong Kong have agreed with us on the two objectives involved. But then the bill has caused a lot of division in society. There was important views. There were also opposing views. And their views were very strong. And there are still lots of worries, doubts and misunderstanding about the bill.

In relation to the legislative work, suspicion has emerged. We try our best to never own the differences in the opinions, hoping that we can ease the worries.

Over the past few weeks, we saw that tens of thousands of people took part in processions and marches and then after the Sunday march and then on Wednesday, there were also demonstrations and there were serious clashes.

As a result, police officers, press and general citizens were injured. I together with the appropriate (INAUDIBLE) in the light of what has happened and as a responsible government, on the one hand, we have to uphold the rule of law.

At the same time, we have to take into account the prevailing circumstances, we have to bear in mind the greatest interest of Hong Kong.

First of all, we need to restore peace and order in Hong Kong and we have to prevent having further injuries caused to the public as well as the police.

On this occasion I would like to thank the establishment chem (ph) (INAUDIBLE) members as well as the community leaders. In the past few days both publicly and privately they have talked to us telling us we should pause and think and we shouldn't act in accordance with the original timetable, which will be soon (INAUDIBLE) debate at the legislative council.

So as to avoid causing further challenges in society and, in fact, Taiwan, on many occasions, has said openly and clearly said that they would not accept the proposals made by the Hong Kong special administrative regional government (INAUDIBLE).

And then the urgency to pass the legislation within the current legislative year perhaps no longer exists.

For the past two days, we've seen the administration; we considered the matter. Here I'd like to make an announcement. The special administrative region government would like to suspend the work. We would like to have more explanation. We would like to listen more to the views expressed.

I would like to emphasize that we are open and we would listen to all views concerning the bill from the society. The secretary for security will write the president of the legislative council so as to withdraw the notice to resume the second reading debate.

In other words, the legislative council, as far as the handling of the bill is concerned, will be halted, will be suspended. We do not intend to set any deadline on development work. We promise that after we're collated the views (ph) we'll report to the security panel of the (INAUDIBLE).

We'll consult the bills of the lawmakers before we decide on the step forward.

I would like to express my gratitude to (INAUDIBLE) establishment camp members, who have been supporting our legislative work as well as members of the public. There are also others who may not support the bill. But there are others who have been expressing the views in a peaceful manner.

I thank such citizens and organizations. Hong Kong is a civilized, diversified society. We need this kind of mutual respect. We may disagree but we're still in harmony.

Finally, as the chief executive of the special administrative region for our original intention of the amendment bill, this come -- this came from our love for Hong Kong, both on my part and my green (ph) team as well as our concern about people.

As a result of our inadequacies --


LAM (through translator): -- and a number of factors, for the past two years, we have been quite peaceful. But, once again, we are seeing a lot of disharmony and clashes. This has disappointed and saddened many people. It is very sad and finally regrettable. We have the best and most -- the utmost sincerity and a humble heart. We are open to your criticisms and we'll still be connected with the people of Hong Kong, the media.

LAM: In February last year another case in Taiwan shocked and saddened many Hong Kong people. A young Hong Kong lady was killed and the suspect fled back to Hong Kong. The case caused deep sorrow for the victim's parents while, at the same time, revealed a clear loophole in our --

VANIER (voice-over): You've just been listening to the chief executive of the Hong Kong government. That's Carrie Lam. So she has just been explaining what we expected and what we heard over the previous hour, which is that the Hong Kong government is suspending the controversial bill that has brought hundreds of thousands of people down to the streets and caused some of the worst unrest that we have seen since the handover of Hong Kong in 1997 to China.

Let me go to Steve Chao. He's been listening in with us.

Steve, it's what we were expecting. It may not be a full win for protesters but it's at least a partial win.

CHAO: Well, very much so. And you heard Carrie Lam strike a very conciliatory tone. She said, yes, I believe that we widely talked to all facets of society when drafting this extradition bill. But these recent demonstrations show that there was perhaps a great deal of anger and division.

On that note she said, it's time to pause and think. And she -- many people were wondering whether she was going to set that tight deadline for the debate and the pushing through of this extradition bill. But she said basically this is an indefinite schedule, they're going to take a big step back, go back to the public, go back to lawmakers and try to figure out what will work. At the same time, however, she stresses she believes still that there

is a very big need for this extradition bill. She raised again one of the big cases that she's mentioned time and again, this fact of the Taiwanese person who was responsible for murdering someone and fled back here to Hong Kong.

She says that's an example of why there's a need for an extradition bill, to not allow Hong Kong to be a fugitive place for criminals but to allow Hong Kong to send those that are suspects back to their respective countries, including the mainland.

She says a lot of the fears that the public has here is misguided, is misdirected. She herself took a lot of responsibility for that, in her words, saying it was her fault in not communicating that properly.

VANIER: All right. Steve Chao, you've been monitoring this for us from the beginning. We thank you for your early analysis of this.

If you're just joining us, Carrie Lam, who is now postponing the controversial bill that has sparked clashes and protests in Hong Kong over the last eight or nine days. We'll be back after this.





VANIER: We're following breaking news in Hong Kong. Hong Kong's chief executive Carrie Lam has just announced that she is suspending the controversial extradition bill that sparked massive protests this week.

Ms. Lam actually defended the bill, saying it had been misunderstood, that it closed or would close a loophole in the law that would help bring criminals to justice. But she acknowledged there had been inadequacies in the communication.

She seemed to say that, in other words, she had poorly sold the bill to the public. Lam says the government is open to all views and opposition parties' concerns to amending the proposed legislation.

Activists have said that this weekend's protests would go ahead unless the bill is completely withdrawn, which, to be quite clear at this hour, it is not. We will continue to follow developments in Hong Kong.

New details about the tanker attacks in the Gulf of Oman. Coming up, U.S. officials now say that Iran was engaged in provocative behavior in the hours leading up to the attacks. Stay with us.




VANIER: Welcome back to our viewers here in the U.S. and around the world. You're watching CNN NEWSROOM. I'm Cyril Vanier.

And we're following breaking news in Hong Kong, where the chief executive, Carrie Lam, has just announced she is suspending the controversial extradition bill that sparked massive protests this week. Anna Coren joins us now from Hong Kong.

Anna, what did you make of this speech?

It sounded to me like Carrie Lam was at once defensive, defensive of the bill and contrite in the way she had handled this situation.

ANNA COREN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Cyril, I think that sums it up beautifully. Carrie Lam has been defensive throughout this entire ordeal. She's also been hell-bent in getting it through.

So this is really a stunning turnaround and also a stunning victory for the hundreds of thousands of protesters, who've taken to the streets to protest these highly controversial extradition bill, which would allow anyone in Hong Kong fundamentally to be extradited to China to face trial.

So as we heard from Carrie Lam a short time ago behind us, she said they need time to pause and rethink, that perhaps they missold this, they didn't explain it properly. And that's what we've been hearing from other lawmakers, that the government didn't sell it properly.

They also, however, blame the people of Hong Kong for getting it wrong, for misunderstanding, for not understanding, you know, the ins and outs of this bill, which they still believe is very, very important. Obviously it's about this murder that took place in Taiwan by a Hong Kong national, who then is seeking haven here in Hong Kong.

So Carrie Lam is -- has seized on this as an opportunity to get this controversial bill through. But people have seen through the ruse, if you like. They see this as a threat to Hong Kong's democracy, a threat to the freedom of speech. They fear this could mean that anybody who speaks out about Beijing, about Mainland China, could then be arrested on any particular trumped-up charges and then be sent to the mainland.

That is why we saw up to a million people, more than a million people, according to protesters, take to the streets last Sunday. We then saw tens of thousands take to the streets on Wednesday.

Those violent clashes with police, who fired tear gas and rubber bullets at some of those protesters.

And then, of course, we are expecting an enormous turnout tomorrow because, whilst Carrie Lam said she has suspended, postponed this bill, there's no timeframe, it might be this year. The protesters, they are not buying that. They believe they need to

continue to demonstrate, to protest, to voice their concerns. They will only be satisfied once the government announces that it will be withdrawn, completely withdrawn, and also that Carrie Lam resigns.

What we're hearing, certainly from the Hong Kong government and Beijing, is that is not happening. But their concession at this stage is that the bill has been postponed to a later date -- Cyril.

VANIER: Anna, to the best of your understanding --


VANIER: -- what is the decision-making process behind this?

Who is pulling the strings?

Who is calling those shots?

Who decided, OK, we're shelving this bill for the moment?

COREN: Yes, it's a very interesting question. Well, as we know, Carrie Lam is hand-picked by Beijing as the chief executive of Hong Kong. They like to make it look like it's sort of this semi- democracy. But it is not. She is considered by many to be a puppet of Beijing, a mouthpiece for Beijing.

We got reports that she met with senior Chinese officials yesterday in Shenzhen and that that was when it was decided how do they resolve this situation, which, as we were anticipating, could potentially get out of hand if this was going to be rushed through.

And that certainly was the plan of the government, to push this through before the lawmakers here in Hong Kong broke for summer, which is in a matter of weeks.

So it was quite remarkable that they were trying to push it through so quickly but they knew that the protesters were not going to back down.

These are people fighting for Hong Kong's freedom, fighting for whatever semblance of democracy they can hold onto. There is a real fear, obviously, that their democratic rights, their freedoms are being very quickly eroded, as China continues to place more control here in Hong Kong.

VANIER: And, Anna, what the people of Hong Kong have shown, I think quite consistently, is each time they feel their freedoms are under threat, they are willing to mobilize for that.

There's a huge turnout each time, as there was with the Umbrella protests a couple years ago. And they will go out in the streets for that. Anna Coren joining us live. Thank you very much. We'll continue to debrief this.

The protests in Hong Kong have rocked the island for almost a week but the roots of this movement go back decades. CNN's Hala Gorani looks at the origins of the crisis.


HALA GORANI, CNN HOST (voice-over): The roots of this crisis stretch right back to when Hong Kong was a colony under British rule for more 150 years. The Brits only gave it back to China in 1997. The terms of that deal: that Hong Kong should continue to enjoy autonomy from Mainland China, a policy known as one country, two systems.

CHRIS PATTEN, FORMER GOVERNOR, HONG KONG: As British administration ends, we are, I believe, entitled to say that our own nation's contribution here was to provide the scaffolding that enabled the people of Hong Kong to ascend, the beginning of representative government and democratic accountability.

GORANI (voice-over): With the words of outgoing governor Chris Patten, there were high hopes for Hong Kong's democratic future. It started well with elections in 1998, the first multiparty vote in a territory administered by China.

But by 2003, the streets were filled with protestors. Many dressed in black to mourn what they saw as the gradual loss of their fundamental rights. They were angry over a proposed new national security bill, they feared would lead to a clampdown on dissent like they'd seen in Mainland China.

The bill was soon shelved, but the growing anger over Hong Kong's eroding democracy did not go away.

Fast forward to 2014, the so-called Umbrella Movement, triggered by a new policy that meant every candidate for Hong Kong's leadership would have to be approved by a pro-Beijing committee. Protests crippled downtown Hong Kong for months.

As police responded with a heavy hand, I spoke with one of the protesters at the time.


GORANI: You have concerns for safety, for instance?

EDWARD TSOI, PROTESTER: Not only concerns, we are terrified, we are Hong Kong people, we just -- nobody stayed in our office. Right now we have tens of thousands of people sitting in the street demonstrating. We prepared for the next round of teargas or even a rubber bullet.


GORANI (voice-over): In the end, demonstrations fizzled with no concessions from the government. But protestors promised that they would be back. In 2017, new Hong Kong chief executive Carrie Lam was sworn in by Chinese President Xi Jinping.

Today, she is the face of the proposed new extradition law, which many say is yet another encroachment on Hong Kong's autonomy from China, sparking the latest wave of protests in a tiny territory not afraid to stand up to its powerful neighbor -- Hala Gorani, CNN, London.



VANIER: If you're just joining us, we learned this hour through Carrie Lam, the chief executive of the Hong Kong government, that they are suspending the controversial bill that has brought hundreds of thousands of people down into the streets.

Now there are two sides to this story. We will be speaking to pro- Beijing voices, those who believe that this bill was legitimate and should pass, next hour.

Amanda Knox is back in Italy and expected to speak in the next hour. The American's harrowing experience there was a media sensation after the murder of her roommate. Stay with us.




VANIER: Amanda Knox is expected to speak in Italy in the next hour. The American woman became a media sensation when she was arrested and twice convicted in the murder of her roommate. She was ultimately exonerated.

Knox is back in Italy to take part in a three-day conference on criminal justice, "Trial by Media" is the name of the conference.

Joining me now from Modena, Italy, is CNN's Melissa Bell.

Why is Amanda Knox doing this?

Why is she going back to Italy?

MELISSA BELL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, you know, for all of the journalists who've been following her for the last couple of days, ever since she arrived in Milan, Cyril, that's really been the question we've been asking ourselves.

Because, first of all, she knew that she would be coming into another media storm. We saw it from her social media posts in the course of the weeks leading up to her return to Italy.

There was no question that it was another media frenzy that she was going to head into because of the interest, the fascination really, that she excites amongst journalists. She courted it. She's trying to use it to raise awareness to an issue she's been campaigning on for the last few years and that is the one of people who are incarcerated mistakenly.

And she is hoping in the next few minutes to use that again to talk --


BELL: -- specifically to that question of trial by media. And yet her attitude toward the cameras ever since she landed here in Italy, Cyril, has been one of almost recoiling physically every time she's been faced with them.

It was the case when she landed at Milan airport and it was the case yesterday. This conference had already begun. She turned up in the morning, sat in the audience. The cameras turned toward her and it was the light of the cameras apparently on her face that seemed to disturb her.

Very quickly she seemed to panic and fled, went into a quiet room far away from the cameras and then left the conference. Later she came back and was moved to tears by the testimony of one Irishman who'd spent 14 years in jail for a crime he hadn't committed.

So you sense a woman who's very emotional, who still has a lot to get through and perhaps wasn't ready for this in many ways yet one who could have no doubt this is exactly what she should expect -- Cyril.

VANIER: Melissa Bell reporting from Modena, Italy. Thank you very much.

Coming up, damaged buildings and flooded farmland as heavy rains impact millions. What's ahead when we come back.





VANIER: Baseball star David Ortiz is still recovering at a hospital in Boston --


VANIER: -- Massachusetts, from his gunshot wound, while the suspect in his shooting now says that he pulled the trigger on the wrong man. The suspect told reporters from his jail cell in the Dominican Republic that he meant to shoot someone else but got confused. CNN's Patrick Oppmann has more from Santo Domingo.


PATRICK OPPMANN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Police say the gunman walked across the nightclub to David "Big Papi" Ortiz and, without hesitation, opened fire. But admitted trigger man Rolfi Ferrera Cruz told Dominican media from his cell that it was all a case of mistaken identity.

He hadn't intended to kill the Boston Red Sox superstar. Ferrera Cruz said that his real target was, quote, "someone else," and that he was only given the color of the clothing of the person he was supposed to ambush and murder.

And as he went into court Friday, proclaimed to reporters he'd shot the wrong man. The Dominican prosecutor's office say Ferrera Cruz is lying, that he is fearful of the, quote, "vengeance" he will almost certainly face in prison from other inmates for shooting a beloved sports star and that it's impossible to imagine any Dominican not recognizing a national hero as famous as Ortiz.

Police say the plot was well organized and involved at least 10 suspects, two who allegedly helped coordinate the contract hit from jail, where they're already serving time for other crimes.

The news that Ortiz was marked for death has rocked the Caribbean nation.

OPPMANN: This is the club where David Ortiz was drinking with friends when a gunman walked in off the street right there and shot Ortiz in the back. David Ortiz didn't like to have security around him. He felt that his celebrity -- in fact, the Dominicans absolutely adored him, would always protect him. It's hard to imagine ever feeling that safe here ever again.

OPPMANN (voice-over): Ortiz is beloved by millions of Dominicans. But some here resent his fame and fortune, says one of Big Papi's childhood friends.

"There's people that are full of envy," he says. "There are people that have wanted to have that ego, that success."

Many of the suspects charged with the attempt on Ortiz's life are petty criminals, who police say did the hit for less than $8,000. They're just the foot soldiers, police say. Ortiz's legions of fans are still waiting to find out who gave them the order -- Patrick Oppmann, CNN, Santo Domingo.


VANIER: Weeks of heavy rain and flooding have impacted over 5 million people in southeastern China.



VANIER: At the Women's World Cup on Friday, England secured a place in the round of 16 knockout phase after winning 1-0 against Argentina.


VANIER (voice-over): And there is that goal. Japan and Scotland also faced off with Japan winning 2-1, leaving Scotland on the brink of an early World Cup exit.

And Italy made history by reaching the knockout phase for the first time in 30 years. Cristiana Girelli scored a hat trick in the 5-0 victory against Jamaica. You heard that right, 5-0. That was number 4.

Coming up on Saturday the Netherlands looking for their second win in the tournament playing against Cameroon. And Canada is facing off against New Zealand.

All right, one more thing. You could call it an extra special blue plate special. Except in this case, the creature won't be served for dinner. This rare blue lobster turned up in a shipment of the crustaceans to a Massachusetts restaurant. Just one in 2 million lobsters are blue. It's a genetic defect, actually.

The owner is putting it on display for a week and then hopes to donate it to an aquarium opening later this year in St. Louis, Missouri, in honor of the St. Louis Blues hockey team, which just won the Stanley Cup.

There you go. That does it from us this hour. Stay with us here on CNN. Natalie Allen is with you next.