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Mourners Waiting for Hours to Pay Respects to Queen; Queen's Long Patronage History with the RSPCA; Florida Governor DeSantis Sends Migrants to Massachusetts; Lawyer: Jones Knew Sandy Hook Hoax Claims Could Boost Revenue; Mosquito Fire 20 Percent Contained in Northern California. Aired 4:30-5a ET

Aired September 15, 2022 - 04:30   ET



BEN WEDEMAN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Stunning success by Ukrainian forces in the Kharkiv area -- Rosemary.

ROSEMARY CHURCH, CNN ANCHOR: And many thanks to our Ben Wedeman, joining us live from Kyiv.

CNN's special coverage of Queen Elizabeth remembrance continues after a short break. We will go back to my colleague Becky Anderson in central London as thousands way to pay their final respects to Queen Elizabeth II. Do stay with us.


BECKY ANDERSON, CNN ANCHOR: Welcome back to CNN NEWSROOM. I'm Becky Anderson in London, where the time is just after 9:30 in the morning. If you're just joining us, let me bring you bang up to date with the latest from here in central London.

And a miles long lines stretching, snaking along the River Thames behind me. And of cross the British capital, thousands of people from across the U.K. and beyond queuing up to pay their final respects to Queen Elizabeth II. The Queen's coffin is lying in state in Westminster Hall behind. That is just across the river from this position here. And it will remain on public view there until her funeral on Monday.

Well, CNN's Scott McLean is down on the banks of the River Thames, where people, Scott, are queuing, albeit very patiently in that very British way. Waiting for their chance to say goodbye to the Queen. What are they telling you?


SCOTT MCLEAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Becky, everybody seems to want a wristband, because officials here are giving out wristbands somewhere up there for people who are waiting in line to allow them to get out of line to go to the bathroom, or to get something to eat and then come back in line. Those wristbands are like gold. This is undoubtedly the hottest ticket in town, because of just how many people are lined up. Let me just kind of you a lay of the land here.

So, if you see up there, that is London Bridge. We're just on the bottom side of London Bridge and you can see the line. Maybe 20 minutes ago, 30 minutes ago, was underneath the bridge or on the other side. Since we got here, like, two hours ago, the line has moved back about half a mile or so. So, we keep trying to find to show you the end of the line. And every time we get set up to do this live shot, the lines keeps moving back. And then it continues to snake along here. And then actually goes out and wraps around to the Thames River.

So, if you know London, you'll know that this is headed out toward the very famous Tower Bridge. And it's hard to get a sense of just how long people might be waiting for. How long do you expect to wait?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We've just been told about 8 to 10 hours.

MCLEAN: 8 to 10 hours And you?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Three hours a miles and we're at three miles here.

MCLEAN: And you're prepared for ten hours?


MCLEAN: You have food, you have clothes, a jacket?


MCLEAN: OK. And you ma'am, why was it so important for you to be here?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Because it's just to pay our respects and it's our history. So, it's just really important. It's been all our lifetime.

MCLEAN: What time did you guys arrive here at?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We got into London about 9 and 8 o'clock, made our way over and just joined the queue. So, 9:20 we joined the queue that we put the marker on it to see how long it takes us.

MCLEAN: Got you, and where have you guys come from?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I come from the midlands, from near Birmingham.

MCLEAN: So, a couple hours away.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We've all come from different places and not up in London.

MCLEAN: Who is the farthest away? Where from?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Stoneham parish (ph).

MCLEAN: And how far is that? UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: 156 miles exactly.

MCLEAN: So, this is quite a commitment for you. But obviously it was important. Did you have to take a day off work to be here?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No, work from home. Well, I have taken the day off them.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She worked from the queue, actually today.

MCLEAN: You're going to be taking emails from the queue.


MCLEAN: Your bosses are OK with that.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They are, it's dedication here.

MCLEAN: It sure is, it sure is.

So, Becky, it really -- you know, it just keeps going and going. And as I said, some people have said they expect to wait, you know, two or three hours. Some people, the official word is that this might be 10 to 12 hours. From the spot, other people have said hey, they are ready to wait 20 hours if they absolutely need to. So, hard to get accurate information as to how long it might take. But we're going to head to the other end of the line and try to find out.

ANDERSON: Scott McLean, down on the river, Scott, thank you very much indeed.

Well, before Westminster Hall open to the public late on Wednesday, the Archbishop of Canterbury held a brief service by her majesty's casket. And afterwards, he greeted people outside and was asked what message people should take away from her life. Have a listen.


MOST REV. JUSTIN WELBY, ARCHBISHOP OF CANTERBURY: I think that my message is look at the example and inspiration, the Queen's fabulous, deep, profound Christian faith, and the King's give to how you lead, how you are a leader. To be a servant, and to be faithful. And that is what I'd say.


ANDERSON: Well, Queen Elizabeth was a well-known animal lover with a special affinity for dogs and for horses. Not so presently, she was an avid keen supporter of the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, the RSPCA. Chris Sherwood is CEO of the charity and he joins us now this morning and thank you for coming in. Queen Elizabeth is reported to have had over 30 corgis during her lifetime. They were incredibly important, there she had a keen interest in horses. What do you think her love for animals says about her character?

CHRIS SHERWOOD, CEO, RSPCA: You know, I think it shows that, you know, Her Majesty, you know, we're very sad at the RSPCA to see the loss of her Majesty and the whole royal family have a deep love for animals. And that was illustrated through her Majesty's love for fell ponies. Fell ponies come from hearty animals in Cambria. And she helped to bring that species back from the brink of being extinct actually, through her own work. And she recently re-homed a pony called Tiffany. And it was Tiffany II. It was called Tiffany II because they're only allowed to have one name. So, if, there is another Tiffany, it'll be Tiffany III. And her love for horses and dogs is legendary. And it's a pleasure to be able to talk about her love of animals.

ANDERSON: She will be missed by the RSPCA, she was a key supporter, wasn't she?

SHERWOOD: I mean, 70 years, she was our patron, and it was an incredible honor to have her as our patron. And she followed in the footsteps of her great, great grandmother Queen Victoria, who became our first royal patron back in 1840.


So, we've got a long relationship with the royal family, which is incredibly important for our work.

ANDERSON: There is a story for why Queen Victoria got involved, as I understand it.

SHERWOOD: Yes, Queen Victoria, when she was a princess living in Kensington Palace, heard about one of our inspectors that went to break up a cockfighting ring in west London. And very tragically, one of our inspectors are killed in that incident. And she was so moved by this, she got in touch with the RSPCA, and she became involved with us when she was a princess. And when she was Queen, she gave us our royal status and became our first ever patron.

ANDERSON: So, there is a real history for the charity. King Charles III has said that he will have to give up much of his own work with the charities that he has set up and support. One assumes you can hope for support from the royal family going forward.

SHERWOOD: I'm sure there are many other things on the minds of the royal family at the moment, you know, with the sad passing of her Majesty, and as King Charles assumes his new responsibilities. But, of course, we are very much welcoming a continued association with the royal family. I mean, King Charles, Queen Camilla, and the royal princess, they have an ongoing love for animals as well. I mean, Queen Camilla has a love for dogs. And she has to Jack Terrier rescue dogs as well. So, we know that animals are really important part of the royal family's life. And they really bring that focus on animals in our society as well. Which can be overlooked if it was not for their attention.

ANDERSON: I know that you have the honor of attending the funeral on Monday. How do you feel?

SHERWOOD: I feel a mixture of humbleness and honor to be able to go and commemorate. I mean, you can see the queues in London at the moment, people queuing for eight hours. And the privilege to be able to go to Westminster Abby and celebrate what was an incredibly remarkable life and a huge contribution to public service. And a sadness as well.

I mean, I am in my 40s. Her majesty the Queen was a part of my life. And all the trials and tribulations we face as a country, most recently with COVID, the Queen was always there and she's not there now. So, it's going to take some adjustment to get used to that. You know, we really welcome King Charles ascending to the throne. But she a much missed and much loved monarch and patron of the RSPCA.

ANDERSON: It's super to have you with us. Look forward to speaking to you again. Thank you very much indeed, and keep up the good work, please.

SHERWOOD: Thank you very much, Becky.

ANDERSON: Chris Sherwood, the CEO of the RSPCA.

I'm Becky Anderson in London. Stay with us here on CNN throughout the day for continuing coverage of the Queen's remembrance. For now, let's get you back to Rosemary Church who is at CNN Center in Atlanta with more of what are the important headlines of the day -- Rosemary.

CHURCH: Thank you, Becky for all your reporting.

And still to come, why conspiracy theorist Alex Jones made bizarre claims about the Sandy Hook massacre. What a lawyer he hired had to say. That is coming up.



CHURCH: Welcome back, everyone. Florida Governor Ron DeSantis is claiming credit for sending two planeloads of undocumented immigrants to Martha's Vineyard in Massachusetts.

States Representative Dylan Fernandes tweeted this: Our island jumped into action putting together 50 beds, giving everyone a good meal, providing a play area for the children, making sure people have the health care and support they need.

Local officials say they had no advanced notice.


BARBARA RUSH, ST. ANDREWS CHURCH: Martha's Vineyard Community Services have 50 people sort of literally walk up to their front door, from what we found out by talking to the people they're originally from Venezuela. They were flown here. We're not sure what plane brought them here or how they got on a plane to here. They did tell us they came from Texas. And they walked from the airport to Martha's Vineyard Community Services.

(END VIDEO CLIP) CHURCH: DeSantis is following the lead of Republican governors in Texas and Arizona, sending migrants to so-called sanctuary states and cities including New York and Chicago.

Well, in just a few hours from now day three of the civil trial of right-wing conspiracy theorists Alex Jones will begin. Jones had spread false claims that the Sandy Hook school massacre was a hoax and the government was using as a pretext for seizing guns. Well now jurors will decide how much Jones and his company Infowars must pay the families of the victims for the pain and harassment they suffered from Jones' followers. CNN's Drew Griffin has details on day two of the trial.


DREW GRIFFIN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: On the stand today, an attorney hired to represent the Alex Jones company as its representative who didn't seem to know much about the company itself. Her name was Brittany Paz, an attorney, and as she was hired to review all the material to prepare for this lawsuit but admitted she hadn't even read a couple of depositions recently done by Alex Jones. And she responded I do not know many times during questionings. But what she could do was provide a backdrop for the victims attorney to outline the number of viewers who may have heard, or read or seen Alex Jones lie about Sandy Hook, and they were in the tens of millions.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It goes from 49 million users with this business.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: 4.6 million users to 6.3 million users, correct?

PAZ: That's what it says, yes.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It goes from 24.9 million pageviews to 35.7 million pageviews, right?

PAZ: That's what it says, yes.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And you know that from December 14, 2012, all the way through the end of January, Alex Jones and Free Speech Systems were repeatedly publishing claims that the shooting was stage, correct?

PAZ: I believe so, yes.

GRIFFIN (voice-over): Our previous reporting have shown Alex Jones has made a fortune in the supplement business connected to his media empire, bringing in $165 million over three years and at one point he made $800,000 in one day.

GRIFFIN: He's already been found liable by default in this case, so it's up to the jury to decide how much of that money Alex Jones will have to pay to these victims that he victimized by lying about the Sandy Hook murder and massacre. Drew Griffin, CNN, Atlanta.


CHURCH: A federal jury has found singer R. Kelly guilty on multiple charges of child pornography and enticement. He was acquitted on several other charges. The jury heard three weeks' worth of testimony including from a woman who said Kelly sexually abused her and recorded the interactions when she was just 14.


Kelly's attorney says that they may appeal the verdict.

Well still to come, California fights its largest wildfire of 2022. Will the weather give them any hope in containing the blaze. That story after the break.


CHURCH: California's Mosquito fire has now burned an area nearly half the size of Chicago. Becoming the state's biggest fire so far this year. Firefighters have been working tirelessly to contain the flames and lay down control lines as the fire grows. But now they're worried the fire could move into forest with plenty of dry materials. Officials are hoping the forecast will be in their favor as firefighting efforts continue.

So, let's turn to our meteorologist Derek Van Dam, he joins us now. So, Derek, what are you seeing in the forecast?

DEREK VAN DAM, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Rosemary, we've got some promising weather in the outlook. I'll show you that in just a moment. But you got to understand the larger context here, there are 91 large active fires burning out of control across eight separate states over the Western U.S. and Mosquito fires just one of many.


So, let's focus in on that and get an idea of how bad this fire actually is.

You can see only and 20 percent containment, you said half the size of the area of Chicago. Just incredible, 63,776 acres have been burned by the Mosquito so far. I mentioned some more promising weather outlooks in the future and this is it. We actually have a trough that's actually going to move down the West Coast of the U.S. this weekend, and that is going to help increase the relative humidity values -- that's what we need. When we start seeing those values drop to 15, 10 percent, that means trouble for firefighters. But when we start getting 70s, 80s, and even 90s that's going to help with the firefighting efforts.

I want to bring into the Atlantic because we have a newly formed tropical storm. This is Fiona. It developed last night around 10 p.m. Eastern standard time. It's just east of the Leeward Islands. So, it's making a beeline right towards the Caribbean. It'll bring some strong gusty winds, heavy rainfall to this area including the Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, eventually into the Dominican Republic by Sunday.

Now the official forecast track shows a due west track before kind of veering to the north and northwest. A lot of different various computer models that we look at. Most of them keeping them fairly consistent with the strength of the system, but you can see the spread and some of these different models that we monitor and the potential of course for this to impact the U.S. Still several days away, we will keep a very close eye on it. Right now, not a concern. This front will also keep it at bay -- Rosie.

CHURCH: All right, thank you so much, Derek Van Dam, bringing us up today on that situation, appreciate it.

Well Patagonia founder Yvon Chouinard has donated his company to the fight against climate change. He transferred ownership of the outdoor apparel company to two entities that will use profits to protect nature and of biodiversity. Patagonia and its founder have been passionate supporters of environmental causes.

And I want to thank you for your company, I'm Rosemary Church. Be sure to connect with me on Twitter @rosemaryCNN. "EARLY START" is coming up next. You are watching CNN, have a great day.