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Gang in Haiti Kidnapped 17 People; Colombian Businessman Facing Money Laundering Cases; Not Time Yet to Relax; China's GDP Only at 4.9 Percent. Aired 3-4a ET

Aired October 18, 2021 - 03:00   ET




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

Just ahead, details on the hunt for kidnapped missionaries in Haiti now that a source there says police believe they know who's responsible.

The British parliament is set to honor slain M.P. David Amess today. We are live in London with the details.

Plus, the latest on China's economic struggles. We'll break down the disappointing GDP numbers on top of supply chain and energy problems in a live report from Hong Kong.

UNKNOWN: Live from CNN center, this is CNN Newsroom with Rosemary church.

CHURCH: Good to have you with us.

Well, a security source in Haiti now tells CNN one of the country's most powerful gangs is believed to be behind the brazen kidnapping of a group of missionaries. Sixteen Americans and one Canadian were abducted on Saturday after visiting an orphanage east of Port-au- Prince. The Christian Aid Ministries says five children were among the group.

The Haitian security source says the gang called 400 Mawozo has been growing in strength and is been fueling the recent surge of kidnappings.

CNN's Melissa Bell recently return from reporting in Haiti and is following this developing story. She joins us live from Paris. Good to see you, Melissa. What is the latest on this kidnapping and the gang that authorities say is behind it?

MELISSA BELL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: As you say that gang, 400 Mawozo, one of those gangs that controls those neighborhoods to the north of Port-au-Prince where the group was kidnapped after visiting that orphanage. It was a group that had specialized in car theft, expanded its activities and had become one of the big fuelers of this real surge that we've seen in kidnappings since the start of the year.

You know, of course this case as we wait for news of the fate of the 17 missionaries that were kidnapped including as you mentioned some of their children will of course continue to capture attention. But the fact is, Rosemary, that for ordinary Haitians going about their day to day life of every class in any age, this is really the scourge that is troubling people in the Haitian capitol.

Now, to give you an idea of the figures, 629 kidnappings since January, 29 of those foreigners. And just since July according to an NGO in Port-au-Prince that tracks these things, a 300 percent rise in the kidnappings.

When you walk around the street of the Haitian capital what's really striking is that parents will hold their children's hands, whether they are 16, 17, 18 year olds, such as the fear amongst, again, ordinary Haitians about these daily kidnappings in the capital.

CHURCH: Just a terrifying situation. And Melissa there are union calls for a strike to protest the spike in kidnappings. What's the latest you're learning on that?

BELL: That's right. I mean, there has been this growing anger and we've seen a series of strikes and protests these last few weeks because all of those very high profile and growing number of cases of people being kidnapped in broad daylight most of the time and then held for ransom. So, people will be out on the streets of Port-au- Prince today trying to make their displeasure known.

Al eyes every much on the political clashes and what they're likely to be able to deliver in terms of promises and the sense of being able to track these people down, you know, that the resigning U.S. envoy had mentioned in his letter when the Biden administration was returning the Haitian migrants to Port-au-Prince, that he was standing down on the grounds of the American policy, but also, on the fact that there had been too much support for political classes, working with gangs.

And that gives you an idea of the level of insecurity in a country that has only grown since the assassination of the president back in July, Rosemary.

CHURCH: All right. Melissa Bell bringing us up to date on all of those developments. I appreciate it.

Well, officials in Haiti are in touch with the U.S. State Department in the urgent search to locate the missionaries. One House Republican weighed in on what the U.S. should do to help rescue them.


REP. ADAM KINZINGER (R-IL): We need to track down where they are and see if, you know, negotiations without paying ransom are possible or do whatever we need to on a military front or police front. But yes, I mean, I think probably everybody watching, at least one or two, you know, I guess Kevin Bacons away knows somebody that has been a missionary to Haiti at some point. [03:05:07]

And so, this hits home. So, we keep them in our prayers and the U.S. government will do everything we can to get them back.


CHURCH (on camera): CNN's Kiley Atwood has more now from Washington.

KYLIE ATWOOD, CNN U.S. SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: A Christian aid organization based in Ohio confirming that there were 16 Americans and one Canadian, 17 in total missionaries in total missionaries in Haiti who are total abducted by a gang over the weekend. Now they were there working at an orphanage. They were kidnapped when they were doing the work leaving that orphanage headed to a place just north of Port-au- Prince.

Now, I'm told the U.S. government according to a senior U.S. government official doesn't know the current location of those Americans who have been kidnapped. They are working around the clock. State Department officials, FBI officials to try to and figure out where they are, and of course how to secure their release.

Now officially, the State Department spokesperson saying that they are aware of the reports not going much further with regard to details. We are waiting to see if the White House comments on this. But the State Department travel advisory for Haiti says do not travel. That is for all Americans. They suggest that they don't travel to Haiti, particularly because of these kidnappings.

That travel advisory cites kidnappings. And we should note that Kidnappings in Haiti have been on the rise in the last few months. Since July they have risen 300 percent. And of course, that doesn't include this latest development over the weekend with these 16 Americans kidnapped.

Kylie Atwood, CNN, the State Department.

CHURCH: The extradition of a Colombian businessman is fueling the latest standoff between the U.S. and Venezuela. Alex Saab is due in a Florida court today as he faces charges of money laundering. He is a close aide to Venezuelan strongman Nicholas Maduro. And Maduro supporters are protesting the extradition.

Meanwhile, Venezuela appears to be retaliating against a group of detained Americans.

CNN's Rafael Romo has more on the fate of the CITGO 6.

RAFAEL ROMO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The group of five U.S. citizens and one permanent U.S. resident were imprisoned only hours after a businessman closed to Venezuelan President Nicholas Maduro was extradited from Cabo Verde to the United States, leaving many to think that it was a retaliation move by Venezuela's socialist regime.

The group is known as the CITGO 6 because they are all former executives of the CITGO Petroleum Corporation. They were arrested in 2017 in Caracas on embezzlement charges which they denied and had been under House arrest since May.

Two attorneys who've been working to get all six released told CNN Sunday that they are now being held at Helicoide prison in Caracas, the capital. This is the same prison where former defense minister and general Raul Isaias Baduel considered by many a political prisoner, died Tuesday of COVID-19.

According to the Coalition for Human Rights, an NGO, 20 inmates have tested positive for the virus at the prison where the CITGO 6 are now being held.

The family of Jose Angel Pereira, one of the six, posted a video where he says he was afraid that if taken to prison again it would be under the worse conditions possible. Pereira also said he wanted to record his testimony because he was very worried. Many of the

Venezuelan opposition say this is nothing more than a retaliation move for Alex Saab's extradition Saturday from Cabo Verde to the United States.

Saab is a Colombian businessman close to Maduro who is suspected to appear in court Monday in Florida after being indicted in the U.S. He also faces money laundering and fraud charges in his native Colombia. Why is the Venezuelan government protesting his extradition? Because it means that one of President Maduro's closest confidants may be available for interrogation by U.S. authorities, someone who knows the ins and outs of a totalitarian regime.

Rafael Romo, CNN, Mexico City.

CHURCH: Members of parliament will pay tribute to British M.P. David Amess in the House of Commons in the coming hours. They are also set to discuss how to prevent another tragedy like his murder from happening again.

Sir David was fatally stabbed while meeting with his constituents on Friday in Leigh-on-Sea, England. Police are treating the case as a terrorist incident. The suspect was arrested at the scene. A government source says he is a 25-year-old British national of Somali heritage named Ali Harbi Ali.

So, let's bring in CNN's Frederik Pleitgen, he joins us live from London. Good to see you, Fred.

So, what more are you learning about the tragic murder of David Amess and what action might be taken to try to prevent future attacks like this?


FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, those are the two big questions right now here in the United Kingdom, in Britain. And it's really something that's been widely discussed, especially of course among politicians here in this country on how they can be better protected. But then of course also at the same time, Rosemary, the investigation

is also going on. Now you mentioned that the gentleman who was arrested was a 25-year-old British citizen of Somali background. And he was arrested under the U.K. Terrorism Act. That means that the investigators here are going to be able to hold him until this Friday and continue their questioning and then have to decide whether or not he is going to be charged.

Now I think one of the most important things in all of this is that they've come to the conclusion that he most probably acted alone, that therefore there is no further threat from this gentleman or any other ring to the wider public. Nevertheless of course the investigation is ongoing. Also of course to decide what the possible motives were.

One of them that has been put out there has been possible Islamist extremism but of course there are many nuances to that that the investigators are now trying to find out.

At the same time, you do have that discussion going on about how better to protect members of parliament and in general, politicians here in this country of course. This is already the second murder of a member of parliament in this country just in the past five years, Rosemary.

CHURCH: And Fred, I mean, the problem here is the British M.P.s they visit their constituents on a regular basis. And very rarely have any protection of any sort. So how likely is it that they would consider whether that is smart going forward?

PLEITGEN: Whether or not to continue doing that or whether or not they need to tighten security. Of course, those are the two questions that are being asked right now. I saw the British foreign secretary he was on several British media this morning and it's one of the big questions that are being asked.

Can you continue to have these interactions with the public that of course called surgeries here in this country and if you are going to continue that do you need further security measures, tighter security measures?

One of the thing that we've heard from the speaker of the House of Commons this weekend is he said, look, he doesn't want to have any kneejerk reactions to all of a sudden make it so that all of a sudden, you have the parliamentarians in some of cage or other sort of other security measures that are too tight for them to actually interact with the public. These are elected representatives they need to be there for the public and they need to be able to interact with the public.

Now, there are certain things that are being discussed, there are certain measures are already in place. All the members of parliament are going to receive calls from security officials to see whether or not they need tighter security. And there is always talk of possibly also of some security at some events.

But in the end what's being discussed right now is saying look, this needs to be decided on a case by case basis. And at the same time, it is of course very, very important to make sure that parliamentarians can interact and continue to interact with their constituency. Rosemary?

CHURCH: That will be of course a delicate balancing act there. Fred Pleitgen bringing us that live update from London. Many thanks.

Well the Taiwan Strait remains a flash point between the U.S. and China. And this time Canada is getting involved. Beijing is furious after reports the U.S. and Canada each sent a warship into the strait last week. The People's Liberation Army says the move threatens peace and security.

This latest round of gunboat diplomacy comes after China's own show of force. Beijing has flown dozens of warplanes near Taiwan in recent weeks.

Well, meantime, China's economy grew only 4.9 percent in the third quarter. It's a weakest expansion in a year. The country has been able to rebound from pandemic difficulties but it seems to be losing steam amid a multitude of problems including supply chain issues, COVID outbreaks, and energy shortages.

CNN's Kristie Lu Stout joins me now live from Hong Kong to talk more about this. Good to see you, Kristie.

So, what is behind China's weakest rate of expansion in a year? What impact could this have on the region and the world?

KRISTIE LU STOUT, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, global economic growth is slowing down. That's what we learn from the IMF last week when it revised down its economic global growth forecast. And today we've learned from the latest GDP reading from China that Chinese economy is slowing down as well.

Earlier today, China announced that its economy had grown 4.9 percent the third quarter compared to the same period a year ago. And that is a sharp slowdown from the 7.9 percent growth that China had posted in the previous quarter.

China is confronting an array of economic challenges from weak consumer spending due to flare-ups of the Delta variant to of course the ongoing energy crisis that only worsens in the country which is caused by the high, record high price of coal which is China's main source of energy. That has led to widespread power outages across the country, it's also forced China to ration electricity in 20 provinces.

It's also forced factories to suspend production which has led to a sharp fall in industrial output. And on top of all that you also have the ongoing Evergrande saga. Evergrande of course is the Hong Kong listed property giant.

The most heavily indebted property developer in China with over $300 billion worth of liabilities.

[03:15:02] Concern about the fate and future of this company has weighed heavily on the markets fanning fears about contagion or spillover into China's greater property sector which accounts to about 30 percent of China's GDP. But look, even before today's third quarter GDP report came out economists across the region had already been revised downward its economic growth forecast for China including Aidan Yao of AXA. Take a listen to this.


AIDAN YAO, ECONOMIST, AXA INVESTMENT MANAGERS: I think the data suggests that they've had multiple (Inaudible) facing the Chinese economy at the moment, and some of which are temporary. Some of them could be more long-lasting. I think the key long-term challenge here is housing market crackdown.


LU STOUT: Now we heard earlier today from the spokesman of China's national statistical bureau and he insists that the property market in China will continue to maintain steady growth. Back to you, Rosemary.

CHURCH: Thank you so much. Kristie Lu Stout joining us live from Hong Kong. Many thanks.

And coming up the U.S. is gaining ground in its fight against COVID- 19. But one expert says it's just not enough. We'll have the details ahead.

And a former Trump strategist refuses to comply with a congressional subpoena. The charges he could face we'll take a look at that too.



CHURCH (on camera): Former U.S. President Bill Clinton is now recovering at home after spending five days in the California hospital. He was treated for sepsis after a urinary tract infection spread to his bloodstream. Clinton left the hospital Sunday morning along with his wife, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. He gave a thumbs up when asked how he was feeling.

The U.S. is gaining ground in its fight against COVID-19. The rate of new cases is improving. Fewer COVID patients are in hospitals, deaths also down compared to a month ago. Plus, the CDC says 57 percent of Americans are now fully vaccinated. But winter is coming which means more people are gathering indoors. And Dr. Anthony Fauci says we could see another surge if more people don't get vaccinated.


ANTHONY FAUCI, DIRECTOR, NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF ALLERGY AND INFECTIOUS DISEASES: We are going in the right direction. The problem is as we all know we still have approximately 66 million people who are eligible to be vaccinated who are not vaccinated. The degree to which we continue to come down in that slope will depend on how well we do about getting more people vaccinated.


CHURCH (on camera): Joining me now from Los Angeles Dr. Jorge Rodriguez. He is a board-certified internal medicine specialist and viral researcher. Thank you, doctor, for all that you do.


CHURCH: So, according to CDC data 57 percent of the U.S. population is fully vaccinated against COVID-19. Which is nearly 67 percent of eligible Americans 12 years and older. And 35 states have fully vaccinated more than half of their residents.

And as we just heard from Dr. Fauci he says we are heading in the right direction. But 66 million Americans are still not vaccinated. So how do we encourage more people to get their shots? And do we need to learn to live with COVID?

RODRIGUEZ: Well, let's start off by -- I know that Dr. Anthony Fauci and everybody is trying to put a positive spin on us. But if you look at this that is not a good number. And I think we just need to be realistic. Right now, yes, things are better but we still have 85,000, you know, cases a day. And if this starts ramping up when we're at this high level we are in deep trouble for the winter.

So, 57 percent or whatever, you know, it is total vaccination, you know, that's an f. There are other countries that are 100 percent. Portugal, for example. Australia just opened up. Their vaccination program a few months ago and they are at 80 percent. So, we can do better. We must do better.

And are we are going to have to learn to live with COVID to some degree? I think that everybody that is in science is in agreement that this is going to become an endemic infection. Meaning, that is not going to be all over the world eventually but it will be in hotspots.

So, we are going to have to learn that sometimes it's going to flare up where we live. And we are going to have to have more restrictions unless people, you know, just sort of like, anti-up man, and start taking this vaccine here in the United States.

CHURCH: Yes. There is that shot and it is extraordinary. And doctor, and FDA advisory panel recommends that the 14 million people who got the Johnson & Johnson vaccine needs to get a second dose after two months. What's your reaction to this and does it mean that all of those who got their first J&J shot many months ago are maybe no longer protected against the virus?

RODRIGUEZ: Well, my first reaction that it is about time that they recommend that. Because studies are showing that six or seven months after, you know, the people that have gotten the J&J vaccine their protection may be down to 3 percent maybe in the single digits. And people are saying, well, you know, those vaccines don't work. And the correct response is, wow, look how great science is that they're able to get us this information so quickly so that we can do something about it.

So, yes, the recommendation by the FDA panel is that anyone who has had a Johnson & Johnson vaccine at least two months ago will require another booster. Anyone of any age of any disease state immune compromised or not.

CHURCH: And doctor, an NIH study shows that mixing and matching booster shots could be effective. So, would it make better sense perhaps for recipients of the first J&J shot to get a Moderna or Pfizer booster instead of the J&J option?


RODRIGUEZ: Well, you know what, that the final verdict on that is still out. I know a lot of people have gone ahead and gotten it. You know, even though that isn't the recommendation. Right now, they should follow the recommendation in the future when we know more. When we know more, the recommendation may be hey, you can mix and match and if you've had Johnson and Johnson or Pfizer and you got a Moderna that's really going to increase your booster.

Again, it is incredible that we are getting this information in real- time. But right now, if the FDA approves and if the CDC approves that the people that got J&J should get their J&J booster fairly soon.

CHURCH: And of course, we know 65 and above have been receiving their booster shots. Dr. Fauci said that there is promising evidence from Israel that those between the ages of 40 and 60 years of age benefit from getting a booster shot of Moderna or Pfizer. Do you agree with that?

RODRIGUEZ: I wholeheartedly agree with that. I actually think that the data is going to show that people that even younger than that should get the booster. At first, people didn't get the vaccines, not all people got the vaccines because we were limited as to how many we had. So, we gave it to the populations that were at greatest risk.

Now that people have gotten the vaccines, I think it doesn't matter your age if there is a surplus of vaccination which some of these countries, some of our countries are very, you know, lucky to have that than the booster should be given to anyone. And it's the time spent since the last booster that should be the determinant if there is a surplus and enough to go around.

CHURCH: Dr. Jorge Rodriguez, always great to talk with you. Many thanks.

RODRIGUEZ: Thank you.

CHURCH: New Zealand is extending lockdown measures for two weeks in Auckland with the country's largest city. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern made the announcement just hours ago. Auckland has been in lockdown since August due to a spike in Delta variant cases.

And this comes after New Zealand's government says it set new records with its super Saturday vaccination drive. Officials say 65 percent of the country is now fully vaccinated, up 3 percent after that one-day event.

Well Steve Bannon refusing to talk to Congress. Coming up, why Donald Trump's former strategist ignores a subpoena. Lawmakers investigating the January 6th insurrection consider their next move.

And Gabby Petito's hometown community turned out for a huge fund- raiser in her memory. Ahead, how the event could help so many people.


ROSEMARY CHURCH CNN ANCHOR (on camera): A 2015 protest against Donald Trump's immigration rhetoric is forcing the former president to give sworn testimony in the coming hours. The lawsuit accuses Trump's former head of security of assaulting protesters outside Trump tower. Their lawyer wanting to determine whether Trump is responsible for his employees conduct.

Kara Scannell has our report.

KARA SCANNELL, CNN REPORTER: For the first time since leaving office, former President Donald Trump will testify under oath. On Monday, Trump will sit for a videotape deposition in a case stemming from a 2015 lawsuit where a group of men sued the former president and his company alleging, they were assaulted by Trump's then head of security while protesting at Trump's anti-immigration rhetoric.

Last week a New York state judge who called Trump's testimony in this case indispensable, order Trump to sit for the deposition ending years of litigation. The plaintiff's lawyers is expected to question Trump about any instructions he gave to his security team. And because the lawyer is suing for punitive damage, he will likely question Trump about his net worth and finances.

The lawyer could ask Trump about Matthew Calamari, his top official overseeing security in his compensation, and area that is part of an ongoing criminal investigation by Manhattan prosecutors. Trump has previously denied any knowledge of the alleged incident instead and said he delegated full responsibility of security to Calamari.

Monday's deposition will be played before a jury when the case goes to trial. The former president is also facing a late December deadline for a deposition in another case. The defamation lawsuit filed by former apprentice contestant Summer Zervos.

Kara Scannell, CNN, New York.

CHURCH: The man behind the controversial a Trump Russian dossier is speaking out for the first time since the document was released in 2017. Former British intelligence officer Christopher Steele broke his silence about the dossier in a new ABC News documentary. The infamous document included 35 pages of intelligence memos that painted a picture of collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russian government.

The ex-spy is standing by one of the most salacious claims in the unverified dossier that Russia has a compromising video of Trump in a hotel room with prostitutes which was reported by Buzzfeed news.


GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS, CHIEF ANCHOR, ABC NEWS: Today do you still believe that that tape exists?

CHRISTOPHER STEELE, FORMER BRITISH INTELLIGENCE OFFICER: I think probably it does. But I wouldn't put a 100 percent certainty on it.

STEPHANOPOULOS: So how do you explain if that tape does indeed exist, it hasn't been released?

STEELE: It hasn't needed to.


STEELE: Because I think the Russians felt that got pretty good value out of Donald Trump when he was president of the U.S.


CHURCH (on camera): In January 2017, CNN reported top intelligence officials presented then President Trump with claims from the Steele dossier. There is no evidence the tape exists and Trump has denied the alleged incident.

Well, the House committee investigating the January 6th insurrection has issued a number of subpoenas to allies of former President Donald Trump. And some committee members are not ruling out the possibility of issuing a subpoena to Trump himself.


REP. ADAM KINZINGER (R-IL): Just speaking quite honestly if we subpoena all of a sudden, the former president. We know that that's going to become kind circus. So that's not necessarily something we want to do upfront. But if he has pieces of information we need, we certainly will.


CHURCH (on camera): Meantime, this week the committee will consider whether to criminal contempt charges against Steve Bannon. The Trump loyalist is refusing to comply with a subpoena from the committee.

Melanie Zanona has our report.


MELANIE ZANONA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: While the investigation into January 6 is poised to take a pivotal step forward this week, the select committee will meet Tuesday evening on criminal contempt charges for Steve Bannon who is refusing to comply with a subpoena from the select committee.

Bannon of course is a former Trump advisor. He is someone who had the president's ear and he also said on his podcast on January 5th that all hell was going to break loose on January 6th. So, the committee understandably has a lot of questions for Bannon.

Now even if the full House votes on criminal contempt charges which we are fully expecting them to do in the near future it would only refer it to the Department of Justice. So ultimately, it would be up to the DOJ to determine whether to hold Bannon in criminal contempt which could result in jail time or fines.

However, if they go down that route it could wind up in a lengthy court battle which means we might not see a resolution on this for quite some time. Nonetheless, though, the committee is pushing ahead, they're moving quickly and aggressively they want to make a real example out of Bannon and send a message to other witnesses who are contemplating whether to comply with the committee.

And all of this coming as the select committee is still debating whether to subpoena Donald Trump himself. Something committee members are not ruling out.

Melanie Zanona, CNN, Capitol Hill.

CHURCH: Joining me from Los Angeles is Jessica Levinson. She is a professor of law at Loyola Law School and the host of the Passing Judgment podcast. Great to have you with us.


CHURCH: So, the January 6th committee will begin the process of holding Steve Bannon in criminal contempt this week for refusing to comply with his subpoena. Because he is unwilling to talk to Congress about what he said to former President Donald Trump ahead of the violence on that day, January 6th.

Despite being fired by Trump in 2017 claims his conversations with the former president are protected under executive privilege. What's your view on that and what will likely happen given he is a vital witness here?

LEVINSON: My view is that Steve Bannon has a very weak argument for executive privilege for a couple of reasons. As he mentioned he wasn't actually a member of the executive branch when all of these conversations took place. In fact, he left in 2017.

So, has a court specifically said that if you are no longer member of the White House you absolutely cannot claim executive privilege? No. But we know based on the doctrine of executive privilege that this is already a tenuous claim. Add to that the fact that he really is trying to piggyback off of former President Trump's claim of executive privilege and we've already seen what the Biden White House has said with respect to some of those claims.

The Biden White House in a very specific letter and I'm paraphrasing here said look, you don't get to try and subvert the Constitution and then wrap yourself in the protections of the Constitution. Executive privilege it's not specifically written in our Constitution. It is a doctrine that judges recognize. It basically says if you are the president and you want to have free and unfettered conversations with some of your senior counsel then we want you to be able to do that, particularly if there are a national security interest at steak.

But we are going to balance that against the public's right to know. There was an insurrection in the capitol. I believe there was an attempted coup. The public has a right to know what happened.

CHURCH: And Jessica, Republican Adam Kinzinger isn't ruling out the January 6 committee issuing a subpoena for Donald Trump. Now surely, that would have to happen no matter what given his role inciting the mob just before the insurrection?

LEVINSON: It's hard to imagine that you could piece together every aspect of the story and not call former President Trump and get him under oath. It's also hard to imagine frankly that he would comply with that. And we know having seen the first impeachment and the second impeachment that when you fight the subpoenas that you can basically win even if you have a losing legal argument. that you can imagine they would say, of course we should hear from former President Trump.

Look, a lot of information we need to know is publicly available. But there are still some parts of the story that I think we all deserve to hear. This is our country our Constitution that was at risk, our government that was under siege.

But if President Trump, former President Trump drags this out in Congress and then in the courts this is a problem if you are the House democrat and you've said, I want to wrap up by early spring. It's the same reason Steve Bannon as we're talking about before could win even though he has a leak -- weak argument. Basically, just play out the clock here.

CHURCH: Jessica Levinson, great to chat with you. I appreciate it.

LEVINSON: Thank you.


CHURCH: Well, it's been about one month since Gabby Petito's remains were found in Wyoming. But investigators are still searching for his fiance, Brian Laundrie. He disappeared days after coming home from a road trip without her. And as Gabby Petito's family struggles with heartbreak, they're also trying to turn this tragedy into way to help others. The family hosted a fund-raiser for a foundation named in Gabby Petito's honor.

CNN's Jean Casarez was there.

JEAN CASAREZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: This was the first benefit for the Gabby Petito foundation. The foundation is going to be dedicated to finding missing people, awarding scholarships, and helping those that are not in the healthiest of relationships. This is Long Island, New York. This is the community where Gabby

Petito is from. These people know her family, they knew Gabby. Someone I spoke to at today's benefits said that Gabby was a very kind person. that she always wanted to see the best in someone.

Now everyone that was here at this benefit had their passion for Gabby for the questions that need to be answered but they also had their individual reasons for being here. Take a listen.


UNKNOWN: I didn't know Gabby personally but she was a young beautiful girl. She had her whole life ahead of her. And I just was wanted to come and support her and the foundation. And you know, hope that something positive can come from this.

UNKNOWN: You think of your own children and what happened to Gabby was such a terrible thing. And I think what the parents, the stepparents also that what they are doing with this foundation to help other people, you know, that lost their children or their children are missing or any family member is important.

UNKNOWN: Gabby Petito means everything to this community. She is a -- she is a person from this community who love this community, who is an active participant in this community as is her family. And we dedicate this event to you and we hope that you are there -- we hope that you are up there looking down on us very, very happy.


CASAREZ: The investigation does continue. The FBI is the lead investigation. This is a criminal investigation. Brian Laundrie has not been charged with anything related to Gabby Petito's disappearance. But her family was in Wyoming this last week. And her father tweeted out at the end of the week something from the Grand Tetons.

We want to show that to you. He said, I now know why you came here, hash tag Gabby Petito, has a beautiful view for now on. Love you and miss you. And that is from Jenny Lake in the Grand Tetons.

Ironically, today is not only the first day of the foundation's benefit but it is also the one-month anniversary when Brian Laundrie's family actually went to law enforcement saying our son is missing and we cannot find him.

Jean Casarez, CNN, Patchogue, New York.

CHURCH: In the coming hours, jury selection is set to begin in the trial of three men accused of killing Ahmaud Arbery. The 25-year-old unarmed black man was jogging near Brunswick, Georgia in February of last year when two white men in a pickup truck chased him down and shot him.

Gregory McMichael and his son Travis face several charges including felony murder and aggravated assault. A third man who recorded the incident is also charged. They have all pleaded not guilty.

And coming up here on CNN Newsroom, days of rain have led to deadly flooding and landslides in Southern India. A live update from New Delhi is next.



CHURCH (on camera): Rescue operations are underway in India after deadly flooding in the state of Kerala. At least 22 people have been killed after landslides were triggered by days of rain. The Indian military is flying an emergency supplies and personnel to the hardest hit areas.

Vedika Sud joins us live from New Delhi. So, Vedika, what is the latest on this flooding? And of course, the rescue operations?

VEDIKA SUD, CNN PRODUCER: Good to be with you, Rosemary. The news isn't too good from down south here in India from the coastal state of Kerala. What we know as of now is there's been incessant rain since Friday, because of which two landslides have taken place in Kerala. And that has led to 22 people dying, like you mentioned, and at least five people missing. Officials are searching for bodies and for people who may still be alive. But the chances as of now do look bleak.

Now remember, Kerala is one state that receives a massive amount of rainfall especially during the monsoon months from about May to September. But of late, we've seen quite a few landslides being triggered in the area and flash floods taking place. This could be perhaps because of more urbanization and construction in the area.

What officials have told CNN is that about 6,500 people have been evacuated from different areas. We do know that over 180 relief camps have also been set up, armed forces have been deployed in the area. You have military shoppers pulling people out, you have rafts and fishermen boats that are taking people to safer places from their homes which have mostly been submerged.

Towns and villages have also been cut off at this point. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has spoken with the state chief state minister and assured all help possible. We are also being told that the rains have stopped as we speak for the day. But the biggest challenge that the state could face currently is high waves that expected by tonight.

And that's the biggest challenge state officials say they will be up against in the coming hours. Rosemary?

CHURCH: Vedika Sud, thank you so much for staying on top of the story. We appreciate it. And we will be right back.



CHURCH (on camera): Well, for those who want to give their Halloween candy a little extra kick, a meat market in Wisconsin may have a trick. A beer-soaked bratwurst stuffed with candy corn.

Here is Jeanne Moos.


JEANNE MOOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Meet the latest meat. See those orange things in the bratwurst? It's candy corn. that's what they are selling for 4.99 a pound at the Jennifer Street market in Madison, Wisconsin. The main ingredients? Pork, beer, and candy corn.

UNKNOWN: Somebody said there should be a felony offense, so I don't think I've done anything done anything, though.

MOOS: Spook Toberfest brats is what the market calls them. Slightly sweet and not scary at all. Wrong says this hotdog GIF. This is a war crime.

UNKNOWN: Certainly not.

MOSS: WMTV morning anchor Tim Elliott described himself as one of the first guinea pigs to taste.


MOSS: What he calls the Franken-weenie.

UNKNOWN: I mean it was good. It was salty and sweet.

UNKNOWN: The candy corn actually melts when they heated up. So, it kind of disperses the sweetness throughout.

MOOS: But don't expect the insults to be dispersed. WTF is wrong with the American Midwest? The meat manager at the Jennifer Street market says they often experiment with their brats. They've had duds.

JUSTIN STRASSMAN, CREATOR OF CANDY CORN BRAT: We tried one with root beer. We also tried a loaded baked potato. that did not do very well.

MOOS: The candy corn brats seem to fit right in with fruit loops pizza from Iowa and even Nabisco. As for candy corn and limited addition Oreo's, and before you say that this candy corn brat is the worst, at least taste the bratwurst.

UNKNOWN: Delicious.

MOOS: Jeanne Moos, CNN.

UNKNOWN: I ate the whole brat, the whole thing. I wanted another one.

MOOS: New York.



CHURCH (on camera): I know our European audience are horrified watching that. OK. So the winners have been announced for the first Earthshot Prize. An environmental protection award founded by the duke of Cambridge and naturalists Sir David Attenborough.

The duke and duchess of Cambridge attended the awards ceremony on Sunday where five winners including Costa Rica and the city of Milan were chosen out of 15 finalists. Each winner will receive nearly $1.4 million and access to a global network of support to help make their ideas to save the environment a reality.

And Tony Bennett can add yet another award to his long list of accomplishments. Guinness World Records says the legendary crooner has just become the oldest person to release an album of new material. He is part of the title track with Lady Gaga.


CHURCH (on camera): Marvelous. Bennett has been battling Alzheimer's, his family says on any given day he may forget a lot about his past. But the minute the music comes on, he transforms.

And we'll leave you with that. Thank you so much for your company. I'm Rosemary Church. Enjoy the rest of your day as CNN Newsroom continues with Isa Soares.