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Military Seizes Power in Apparent Coup in Guinea; Mexican Authorities Clash with Migrant Group; Democrats Move to Protect Women's Reproductive Rights; Bans Abortions After Six Weeks Despite Roe v. Wade; Gavin Newsom Fights to Keep Job as Governor as Election Nears; Brazil-Argentine Football Match Suspended; Paralympics Close with Parade of Nations and Fireworks. Aired 4:30-5a ET

Aired September 06, 2021 - 04:30   ET



ROSEMARY CHURCH, CNN ANCHOR: Welcome back everyone.

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken is set to kick off a visit to Germany and Qatar. He is expected to arrive any moment now at Ramstein in Germany. The State Department says the aim is to reaffirm relationships following the evacuation efforts in Afghanistan.

And this comes on the same day the Taliban are claiming to have taken complete control of Panjshir Province, the last holdout in Afghanistan, this in the northern part of the country. And this video shows the Taliban hoisting their flag in what appears to be the Panjshir governor's office. And their claim is being denied by the National Resistance Front. A spokesman told CNN resistance forces are still in strategic positions across the valley.

Well, political upheaval in the West African nation of Guinea as an adviser to the President Alpha Conde confirmed his arrest in an apparent coup. Hundreds of people celebrated in the streets of the capital Conakry on Sunday.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): The joy is at its maximum, my brother, look around, it is like that all over the territory. The Guinean people are free.


CHURCH: Conde's location is unclear. He can be seen though in a video posted on social media but CNN cannot independently verify its authenticity.

So, let's turn now to David McKenzie. He joins us live from Johannesburg. So David, talk to us about what this all means for the nation of Guinea and of course, the region.

DAVID MCKENZIE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, there's a lot of uncertainty at this hour in Guinea. You had those dramatic events unfolding early Sunday when heavily armed special operations forces from the Guinean military went into the headquarters of the government close to Conakry, well in the edge of Conakry there in Guinea, there were several hours of small arms fire and heavy weapons fire according to witnesses.

And then you had the bizarre scenes that we've seen before in that region of the 83-year-old president somewhat dazed surrounded by those special forces whisked away to an unclear destination. The coup leaders say that he is safe and that they are maintaining his dignity, somewhat ironic statement at this point.

They later got on to state television in the classic coup moment, draped in a flag, Lieutenant Colonel Mamady Doumbouya, who was a former French legionnaire, the head of special forces, had in fact taken part in U.S. training of special forces in that region, really tapping in, in his way to the unpopularity of the outgoing president.


MAMADY DOUMBOUYA, CHIEF OF SPECIAL FORCES AND COUP LEADER (through translator): The personalization of politics of political life is over. We will no longer entrust politics to a man, we will entrust to the people. We come only for that. It is the duty of a soldier to save the country. The only thing that motivates us is that. We are going to put in place a system that does not exist and we must all build this system together.


MCKENZIE (on camera): What that system will be is unclear at this point. Now while Conte is certainly unpopular, he's a leader that was trying to extend his rule.


Won a very controversial election last year and is widely believed to be involved in corruption, something he denies.

The few hours will be key. The military that appears to be in control now has invited government leaders and parliamentarians this morning to discuss their exit. This has been roundly condemned by the region and continent, but whether they can actually do anything about it remains unclear -- Rosemary.

CHURCH: All right, many thanks to our David McKenzie joining us live there from Johannesburg.

Well, dozens of people were injured in Montenegro after tensions boiled over at a protest on Sunday. Police used tear gas to disperse hundreds of protesters who gathered to oppose the installment of a certain Serbian orthodox cleric as Montenegro's religious leader. The decision has stirred divisions within the country which split with Serbia in 2006. However, its church remains under the Serbian church which some see as a symbol of unwanted influence.

Mexican authorities have blocked the passage of a new migrant caravan headed for the United States. The crackdown came just one day after the group left southern Mexico. As CNN's Rafael Romo reports, some families with young children were among those caught up in the chaos.


RAFAEL ROMO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: There's been tensions between immigrants and Mexican immigration authorities for weeks. This latest caravan was coming from Tapachula, a city across the Guatemalan border and was traveling through the state of Chiapas when they were stopped.

Let me first show you what happened during an operation by the Mexican National Guard and the Migration Institute with the goal of stopping the immigrants. This was chaotic situation that unfolded in the city of Huixtla, Chiapas State, Sunday morning where the migrants have spent the night. The Mexican National Guard in full riot gear tried to stop the immigrants, some of them were traveling in family units with small children.

There were still several tense moments including one when authorities tried to stop a mother with her child in her arms. There was a similar incident moments later when a father claimed authorities were trying to separate him from his young daughter. Let's take a look.

Let me translate what he said. Leave me alone, he said repeatedly, I'm not leaving without my daughter. He later told the members of the National Guard, you're parents too, have a heart. CNN tried to reach both the National Guard and the National Migration Institute for comment but there was no answer. There were no public statements either.

Last week the Mexican Migration Institute issued a statement saying that it was not going to allow any type of abuse against immigrants or journalists covering the story.

Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said last Thursday that his country is working to hold back the migratory flow as much as he can, and at the same time is in communication with the U.S. government to come up with solutions to address this challenge. This latest group of about 500 immigrants was composed of people from Haiti, Venezuela and Central America.

Rafael Romo, CNN, Mexico City.


CHURCH: In the U.S. Democratic lawmakers are moving quickly in response to the restrictive abortion law in Texas. The Supreme Court let stand the measure which bans abortions after six weeks even though it violates the Roe vs. Wade ruling that legalized an abortions nationwide. Speaker Nancy Pelosi said when the House returns from recess, it will take up Congresswoman Judy Chu's Women's Health Protection Act. The measure would codify abortion rights protections into federal law.


REP. JUDY CHU (D-CA): If it were to pass, abortion access would be protected everywhere regardless of the types of laws that states may pass -- whose only purpose is to impede abortion. Like dictating the width of clinic doors or forcing the doctors to have unnecessary admitting privileges in some hospital or requiring an ultrasound. All those provisions would be prohibited and a woman would have the freedom of choice to make a decision that would impact her future, a choice that should be a private one between her and her doctor.


CHURCH: And earlier I spoke to Loyola Law School Professor Jessica Levinson. She explained that what makes this law alarming is how it's designed to be enforced.


JESSICA LEVINSON, PROFESSOR, LOYOLA LAW SCHOOL: It really up ends our understanding of who enforces these laws by saying to private citizens, any private citizen, you can sue another private citizen for helping a woman fill out an insurance form. Giving a woman a loan to pay for an abortion.


Driving a woman to an abortion clinic. And you will have to pay not only at least $10,000 if that person wins, but also the other person's attorney's fees. This is a law that is just strategically brilliant if you want to creates a many hurdles as possible for women to obtain an abortion. I just didn't think that this Supreme Court would let it go into effect before they overturn turn Roe.

CHURCH: Yes, it is a very dark brilliance. Isn't it? And then the Supreme Court as you mentioned refused to block this Texas abortion law. Let's talk about what that might signal for the landmark decision of Roe vs. Wade which gave women the right to choose to have an abortion if that is what they wanted or needed. Could the Supreme Court overturn that or will each Republican state simply follow the Texas abortion law and render Roe vs. Wade irrelevant?

LEVINSON: I think both. So, I think what we're seeing in the short term is that other states, and we've heard Florida already has plans to pass a law that looks exactly like Texas's law, and frankly, why not. If the Supreme Court has said that Texas's law can go into effect, how could it possibly then say, oh, no, but there is something different about Florida's law. So, I think we're going to see that for potentially the next few months.

And as we know in the next Supreme Court term, the court has a big abortion case that is already on its docket. It's out of Mississippi. It's a ban of 15 weeks and after in pregnancy. A lot of people, myself included, thought that the court was going to wait probably in June 2022 announce now we are overturning Roe or so hollowing out Roe that it is essentially an empty promise.

But the court on its shadow docket didn't even wait. So, I think we're going to see states acting as if Roe doesn't exist and then ultimately the Supreme Court just affirmatively overturning it.


CHURCH (on camera): And Levinson says that the long term legal question will be whether states press for the concept of fetal personhood which would prevent all states from allowing access to abortion.

California Governor Gavin Newsom isn't taking any chances in the state's recall election. He has called on some Democratic heavy hitters to help him secure a win, but will it be enough?


GOV. GAVIN NEWSOM (D-CA): Election Day is today, election day is tomorrow, election is next week. The last day of the election is September 14th. So, it's not just get out the vote later, it's turn in the ballots.





NEWSOM: Look what happened in Texas just 72 hours ago. They are coming to California. My name appears on this ballot, but this isn't just about me, it's about each and every one of us.


CHURCH: Democratic California Governor Gavin Newsom there invoking the threat of Republican control as he campaigns for support ahead of a recall election that could unseat him. CNN's Dan Merica explains how with just over a week to go Newsom is taking a different approach.


DAN MERICA, CNN NATIONAL POLITICAL REPORTER: Yes, that's right, as the recall here in California enters its final days, Governor Gavin Newsom is fighting for his job by nationalizing the race focusing less on his job handling and the leadership of California and more on the national implications of this race. Behind us, he just finished a labor rally in Los Angeles where he compared policies leading Republican Larry Elder to Donald Trump, a man who lost the state by roughly 30 points in 2020. Take a listen to what the governor said.

NEWSOM: If we don't vote no on this recall, Larry Elder is the next governor of California. And by the way, this is not exaggeration at all. He is to the right of Donald Trump. How is that even possible?

MERICA: That national message is being echoed by a number of national Democrats who have come to the state to campaign with Newsom. Elizabeth Warren, the Massachusetts Senator, was here just yesterday. Today Governor Gavin Newsom is campaigning with Amy Klobuchar, a Minnesota Senator. And later this week, Vice President Kamala Harris who represented California in the Senate will come and campaign for Governor Newsom as he looks to avoid being recalled.

Dan Merica, CNN, Los Angeles.


CHURCH: In Florida officials say a former Marine went on a shooting rampage at a property outside Lakeland killing four people including a baby in a mother's arms. Police say 33-year-old Brian Riley then engaged in a firefight with law enforcement officers before surrendering. One official says that there does not appear to be any connection between Riley and the victims. In an interview with deputies, Riley described himself as a survivalist and confessed to being on methamphetamine.

You are watching CNN NEWSROOM. A colorful closing ceremony wraps up the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics. As the games move on, Japan is fighting rising COVID infections. We will go live to Tokyo for the very latest. Stay with us.



CHURCH: A crazy scene in Sao Paulo between football powerhouses Brazil and Argentina. And golfer Patrick Cantlay hits the jackpot with the Tour Championship. CNN Sports Coy Wire has our minute in sports.


COY WIRE, CNN SPORTS: We begin with the FIFA World Cup qualifying match between South American football giants Brazil and Argentina which was stopped just minutes after kickoff when Brazilian health officials marched on to the pitch and escorted multiple Argentinian players away alleging, they broke quarantine rules.

In Formula One, Dutch superstar Max Verstappen has one his own Grand Prix. The first Dutch Grand Prix in 36 years. With the win he overturned a slight points deficit to take the lead over Lewis Hamilton in the driver standings.

In golf, American Patrick Cantlay has won one of the biggest purse prizes in all of sports. Claiming the PGA Tour Championship and FedEx Cup. With it a $15 million paycheck. Cantlay held off world number one Jon Rahm by a single stroke to claim the title. Now in last place at the Tour Championship, Chili's Joaquin Niemann. He knew he was going to finish last so he decided to set a record instead for the fastest round ever at the event running around at the 18 holes in one hour and 53 minutes. That's it for us. Back to you.


CHURCH: Many thanks.

Well, some final images here from the Tokyo Paralympics. The global competition wrapped up on Sunday with a colorful celebration despite the ongoing pandemic. The closing ceremony including singing, dancing and the parade of nations. It took place in a near empty stadium without spectators due to the pandemic of course. And Japan found some success containing the coronavirus during the Paralympics but the delta variant is still driving new infections.

Our Blake Essig joins me now from Tokyo. Good to see you, Blake. So, let's start with that closing ceremony, how did it all go?

BLAKE ESSIG, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, you know, Rosemary, the final curtain has fallen on Tokyo 2020. Last night inside the national stadium right there behind me, the ceremony came to an end as far as the Olympics and Paralympics are concerned. It was an event like no other.

As has been the case throughout these entire games, the Olympics and Paralympics last night's closing ceremony took place inside a nearly empty stadium. I was one of the lucky few to be inside to witness the colorful celebration of sport. It was filled with singing, dancing and as you mentioned, the parade of nations that did include two Afghan athletes who proudly carried their country's flag.


Now because of the Taliban's takeover of Afghanistan, the country's two Paralympic athletes were originally unable to reach Tokyo. But Paralympic organizers say with the help of individuals, organizations and governments from around the world, the pair were evacuated from Kabul and arrived here just in time to compete. Now while there were incredible moments like that one, I just mentioned, record-setting performance throughout these games. There's no question that the legacy of Tokyo 2020 will be defined by COVID-19.

Inside the Olympic and Paralympic bubble, the COVID-19 countermeasures put in place by organizers did prove to be largely successful as the daily case count remained low. But outside of the bubble, cases in Tokyo and around Japan skyrocketed. A state of emergency remains in place for roughly 80 percent of the country and health care professionals say the medical system here as completely collapsed and some people died at home because they were unable to receive care.

For months there was fierce opposition toward these games felt by a majority of the Japanese people but Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga pushed ahead with events seemingly against the will of the people. And despite warnings from health officials that the virus could surge. Political experts tell us that because of that decision to hold the games, that likely led to his unpopularity and ultimately cost Suga his job. He announced just last Friday, Rosemary, that he would not be seeking re-election when his term runs out at the end of the month.

CHURCH: All right. Blake Essig, great reporting from there, joining us live from Tokyo. Appreciate it.

And thank you for your company. I'm Rosemary Church. Be sure to connect with me on Twitter any time @rosemaryCNN. Love to hear from you. "EARLY START" is up next. You're watching CNN, have yourselves a wonderful day.