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Special Master Appointed to Review Seized Documents; Republicans Governors Have Sent Thousands of Migrants North; Ukraine: Mass Burial Site Found After Russian Retreat; Miles-Long Queue Along Thames to View Queen's Coffin; King Charles, Queen Consort to Visit Wales Today; Freight Railways, Unions Reach Deal to Avoid Shutdown; Alaska Bracing for Strongest Storm in a Decade. Aired 4-4:30a ET

Aired September 16, 2022 - 04:00   ET



BECKY ANDERSON, CNN ANCHOR: Well, hello and a very warm welcome to our viewers joining us in the United States and all around the world. I'm Becky Anderson live from central London, overlooking the palace of Westminster where thousands are lining up to pay their respects to Queen Elizabeth II.

KIM BRUNHUBER, CNN ANCHOR: And live from CNN World Headquarters in Atlanta, I'm Kim Brunhuber with the latest on the war in Ukraine, and the special master appointed to review documents seized from Donald Trump's Florida estate.

A U.S. federal judge has finally appointed a special master to review the confidential and top secret documents seized by the FBI from Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago estate. But it could be a while before we hear much more about the investigation. The judge has set a November 30th deadline to complete the review, and the Justice Department is expected to appeal a key part of the justices order. CNN's Sara Murray has details.


SARA MURRAY, CNN POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: A special master chosen to sift through the thousands of documents the FBI seized from their search at Mar-a-Lago in August. Judge Raymond, he's a senior judge from the eastern district of Brooklyn who was chosen for this task. He was a name that was put forward by the Trump team but one that the Justice Department also agreed to.

Now this comes as Judge Aileen Cannon said she is not going to allow the Justice Department to resume their criminal review of the classified documents that were seized from Mar-a-Lago. She basically says in her ruling, she's not going to take the government at their word that these documents were classified. Obviously, we've seen the Trump team argue that the former president has the ability to declassify documents. The judge said she didn't believe there would be irreparable harm caused by pressing pause on this investigation, or this part of the investigation. Saying first, there is no actual suggestion by the government of any

identifiable emergency or eminent disclosure of classified information arising from plaintiffs allegedly on lawful retention of the seized property. Instead, and unfortunately the unwarranted disclosures that float in the background have been leeks to the media after the underlying seizure.

Now the special master has until November 30th to complete his work, but of course we are also waiting to see if the Justice Department appeals this ruling.

Sarah Murray, CNN, Washington.


BRUNHUBER: President Biden is calling out Republican governors for sending migrants to cities run by Democrats. The president spoke Thursday at a gala put on by the Congressional Hispanic Caucus. In his speech Biden called the migrants relocation un-American, here he is.


JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Instead of working with us on solutions, Republicans are playing politics with human beings using them as props. What they are doing is simply wrong, it's un-American, it's reckless.


ANDERSON: In the last two days, migrant groups have arrived at Vice President Kamala Harris's official residence in Washington D.C., and in Martha's Vineyard in Massachusetts. CNN's Miguel Marquez has that and the scramble to find them food and shelter.


MIGUEL MARQUEZ, CNN SENIOR NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Ubaldo Arcaya was in San Antonio yesterday, along with 50 other Venezuelan migrants. Today, he's in Martha's Vineyard.

When you got off the plane, I ask him, what did you think of this place? Beautiful, gorgeous, he says. The people are very friendly. He says in Texas, he was promised help if he got on the plane, no idea where he was going.

There were three options, he says, Washington, Utah, here in Massachusetts, whatever was available. The plane left and brought us here.

It's a tactic we've seen in Texas, Arizona and now, Florida. Republican governors shipping migrants to so-called sanctuary cities and states with little to no notice.

DYLAN FERNANDES (D), MASSACHUSETTS STATE HOUSE: There's no low that those people will go. They'll keep going lower and lower and they're willing to use humans, children, women, families as political pawns for their own game.

It is depraved. It is evil. It is wrong. But what makes America great is what we see here today which is an island community and the state in Massachusetts is coming together to support the people here.

MARQUEZ (voice-over): Arcaya, a 27-year-old mechanic from Venezuela, says he's been welcome with food and new clothes here on the island.


He tells us he made a difficult month and a half long journey for liberty, democracy and the promise of America.

UBALDO ARCAYA, MIGRANT: So, hello, Americano.

MARQUEZ (voice-over): When you step on American soil, you feel at ease that you're here and well protected. You lose the stress of the journey we had to go through in seven countries. Very stressful across all of Central America.

This parish house bustling with activity, volunteers and organizers working since yesterday to provide food, shelter and immigration services.

LARKIN STALLINGS, MARTHA'S VINEYARD COMMUNITY SERVICES: We've got the bodies to do this. The biggest problem was the short notice. And that was obviously intentional.

MARQUEZ (voice-over): Just 20 minutes' notice says the airport manager. A deliberate move by Florida Governor Ron DeSantis who is taking credit for the surprise trip.

GOV. RON DESANTIS (R), FLORIDA: Our message is, you know, we're not a sanctuary state. We don't have benefits or any of that. There are some sanctuary jurisdictions and that would be better. [16:05:04]

MARQUEZ (voice-over): With that message not sitting well with officials here in Martha's Vineyard.

FERNANDES: We're going to come together and support whoever shows up here. And we're going to make sure that people have the food, water and shelter that they need. You know, Ron DeSantis and Republicans might want to play political games with people's lives, I believe that's incredibly inhumane to be using women and children and families as a political pawn.

MARQUEZ: And I want to give you a sense of what's happening here, more than 24 hours after the migrants were brought to Martha's Vineyard. This is St Andrews Parish House, this is the only homeless shelter on Martha's Vineyard. It usually holds ten people, it had to increase it on a sort of emergency basis to hold up to 50.

Lawyers who've been meeting with the migrants are starting to get a sense of where they are from, what their legal situation is. They say that all of them that they spoke to were told untruths and lies about getting on that plane and where they were going to go and what the resources would be here. So, they're trying to sort through all of that. But they also say that in the days ahead, in the few days maybe most if not all of the 50 immigrants who arrived here will move on to other cities across the country. Back to you.


BRUNHUBER: In the coming hours, President Biden will meet with family members of two Americans imprisoned in Russia. Former U.S. Marine Paul Whelan has been jailed for more than three years on espionage charges. Women's basketball star Brittney Griner was detained in February on drug charges. Biden is meeting with the families separately. It'll be their first time talking face-to-face. An administration officials say there has been, quote, movement, but not a breakthrough in efforts to exchange the Americans for convicted Russian arms dealer.

Some $600 million worth of new U.S. military aid will soon be on its way to Ukraine. The package includes ammunition for the HIMARS rocket launchers which Ukraine has been using to hit Russian targets across the board, but it doesn't include longer range tactical missiles for the HIMARS system that Ukraine wanted. The U.S. has spent more than 50 billion dollars on the Ukrainian military aid since the Russian and ration began.

Meanwhile, we are getting images of an alleged mass burial site found in northeastern Ukraine. Ukrainian officials say it contains at least 440 graves discovered near the city of Izyum. Now CNN hasn't confirmed who was buried there, or how they died, but Ukraine's President Zelenskyy is pointing the figure at Russia. So, for more on all of this, CNN's Ben Wedeman joins us live from Kyiv. Ben, I know that the discovery of that burial site is still a developing story, but what more can you tell us?

BEN WEDEMAN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, we originally heard from the police chief of the Kharkiv region where Izyum is located, where this mass grave allegedly is located. Who said that they believe at least 440 bodies have been buried there. Now from what we understand, there are markings on some of the graves that indicate that there are for instance 17 people from the morgue have been put there. Otherwise, it's just crosses with no names on them. So, it's not clear at this point who these people were, how they were killed.

But if you look at for instance previous instances where mass graves were uncovered, particularly in the town of Bucha outside the capital Kyiv, where investigators found 458 bodies in a mass grave. 419 of them according to the investigators showed signs of being either executed, tortured to death, or beaten to death. And I think this is an indication of perhaps what's going to be uncovered in this massive area of 8,000 square miles where the Russians have been driven out of by the Ukrainians in the last two weeks.


And keep in mind, the Russians still control large parts of this country, for instance in the city of Mariupol on the southeastern part of the country local officials loyal to the government in Kyiv have talked about tens of thousands of people being killed. So, the details on this particular mass grave in Izyum are still unclear.

We understand that investigators are going there trying to uncover what has happened. Journalists are going to be taken there today. So, more details are coming. But the scant information we have certainly would indicate it is a mass grave -- Kim.

BRUNHUBER: All right, we'll keep following this important story. Ben Wedeman thanks so much, appreciate it.

Well, Ukraine was top of mind for Vladimir Putin as he met with his Chinese counterpart in Uzbekistan. The Russian president thanked Xi Jinping for a balanced position on the matter, but he didn't seem to get the response he was looking for. The Chinese leader on his first foreign trip in two years didn't even mention Ukraine. Instead, he thanked Russia for respecting its one China policy, and emphasized economic ties and trade.

ANDERSON: In just a couple of hours, now Britain's new King Charles III and his wife the Queen Consort will return to Wales for the first time since he became sovereign. The king's relationship with that country goes back more than half a century when he took the title Prince of Wales.

Well, the long awaited details of Queen Elizabeth's funeral have now been made public, and it promises to be one of the most elaborate events ever held in British history. This evening, King Charles will return from Wales, and we'll be joined by his younger sister and two brothers at a silent vigil at the Queens coffin in Westminster Hall in the palace of Westminster behind me here, where mourners have been streaming by the thousands since late Wednesday.

Well, the live tracker of the queue, to get inside Westminster Hall, shows it is currently nearly five miles long with an estimated weight time of 11 -- well is changing by the moment here of at least 14 hours. CNN's Nina dos Santos is standing by in Cardiff. Let's go get first to Nada Bashir who's been meeting the people waiting to get inside Westminster Hall to view the Queens coffin, 14 hours now the wait. It's a chilly morning, it's a bright morning, but it's a chilly morning. And as I understand it, people waiting very patiently, it means something to them. Just to be part of what is, Nada, this moment in history.

NADA BASHIR, CNN REPORTER: Yes absolutely, this is a moment that many people do not want to miss, the Queen lying in state for four full days until Monday morning the day of the funeral. And it's really remarkable to see just how long this queue is and it keeps getting longer. We've actually just had an update from the government just in the last few moments confirming that our waiting time is around 14 hours. They said the queue is currently in Southwark Park quite a way from where we are, now just the London, they said if the park reaches capacity, entry to the queue will be paused. So, anybody in the queue right now maybe waiting a little while longer. And they've also advise that anybody who has been set off to join the queue just yet might be better off waiting a little while until those numbers go down. Because it is significantly longer than we saw yesterday, and of course over the morning hours earlier today.

But there are those who have braved the cold weather overnight, we are joined here by Graham, Ollie and William, they've been waiting overnight. How long have you've been in the queue for?

GRAHAM: We came down at half 12, so what we're looking at about now about half eight, 9:00, Yeah, it's been quite a while, yeah, cold.

BASHIR: How's it been overnight?

GRAHAM: it's been cold. I won't lie. It's been cold. But is just great atmosphere, everyone is chatting, and, yes, it's not what we expected. We thought everybody would quite solemn, but no, it's been really good.

BASHIR: And why was it so important for you to do this, to pay your respects to the Queen?

GRAHAM: Well, we want to Buckingham Palace on Saturday, and then obviously Windsor and it's really for the children. Just, you know, for us to pay our respects and obviously to give the kids the opportunity to come down, and obviously see what is going on and experience it for themselves really.

BASHIR: You boys have had a very long time to wait, and staying way past bedtime how has it been for you?


BASHIR: Good. Are you tired?


BASHIR: A little bit tired?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE CHILD: Yeah, I've been staying up all night.

BASHIR: How have you been staying, how have you guys been keeping warm?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE CHILD: Pretty chilly and cold but it's been warm because it's like you know, it's not darkening more.

BASHIR: You all doing OK?


BASHIR: Still got a while to go?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE CHILD: Maybe so, I don't know.

BASHIR: Still a while to go but as you can see a lot of people here are very upbeat still. It is a moment that many people do not want to miss, especially for families. And if you heard there is a moment of history and a lot of the people here said they want to share this moment with her children with their families. There are a lot of stewards and volunteers around, of course, keeping this going keeping this movement. But as those numbers get bigger, Becky, it is expected that it may slow down over the coming hours.

ANDERSON: Yes, those boys are never going to forget this are they. Good stuff, thank you. Let's get you to Nina dos Santos in Cardiff. Prince Charles will be holding a vigil over that coffin with his siblings later on today. Ahead of that, though, Nina, he will be in Wales.

NINA DOS SANTOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, that's right. King Charles is intimately acquainted with Wales because of its crucial role in the line of succession. Remember that he was the Prince of Wales, and that title was now been bestowed upon his son, Prince William.

As you can see here, we've got long lines taking place outside Cardiff Castle, which is where things are going to culminate later on this afternoon. First, we're expecting the monarch and his Queen Consort to arrive here in Wales in a couple of hours. They'll have a prayer and reflection service, at Llandaff Cathedral here in Cardiff, they'll also head to the Senate which is the world's Parliament and then the tour will culminate, here. This is his final lap of the four parts of the United Kingdom at Cardiff Castle.

And as you can see, the queues have been building up right throughout the course of the night. I'm joined here by a family who've been here since four -- well, you set off at four in the morning and you've been here since the early morning. Clare Windsor joins us with her two eight-year-old twins. I believe it's Jack and also Andrew. Why did you feel you have to come here?

CLARE WINDSOR: Because it's history. History is getting made. So, I wanted to bring the boys so they could see and be part of it.

DOS SANTOS: You're a Windsor yourself, right, by surname which is the royal surname, any relation?


DOS SANTOS: How do you feel about the links between Wales and the royal family, because obviously this is one of the most crucial parts of the realm for the now King Charles III.

WINDSOR: Yes, I think it's important to be like united as a kingdom, even though Wales has got, you know, its own independence and whatever, but I think it's important to be united.

DOS SANTOS: Do you think people are united here in this, crowd? I mean, there are -- there have been question marks about whether or not protesters might turn up here for a silent protest. How do you feel about that as somebody who's taking the time to come down from north Wales to come and be here to support the monarchy?

WINDSOR: I think everybody should have the right and freedom of speech. I believe in that but I don't think now is the right time. I mean, if they want to do it quietly, maybe it a side spot, I don't think now is the time while the country's in mourning.

DOS SANTOS: What are your thoughts about Queen Elizabeth II because I understand you come from north Wales, and the footprint of what happened in Aberfan and her visit there to north Wales after that tragedy is still keenly felt there, isn't it?

WINDSOR: Yeah, it's just really sad. I mean, she's been our sovereign for 70 years. So, I think we all feel it's really a sad time.

Thank you very, Clare. And boys, you have your flags, the Welsh dragon, can you wave them -- are you excited.

BOYS: Yes.

DOS SANTOS: Have a great, day I hope that you managed to catch a glimpse on our new King Charles III and his Queen Consort. And we're expecting, Becky, obviously the king to leave Wales in the early part of the afternoon to then continue with various ceremonial activities culminating of course in the vigil with his siblings later on in London around his late mother's coffin -- Becky.

ANDERSON: That is. Right Nina dos Santos in Wales, and Nada Bashir with those who are in that queue who may get the opportunity to see the royal family Charles and his siblings a little bit later if they are lucky and when they get to file past the Queen's casket.

Well, there's still much more ahead in our special coverage of Queen Elizabeth's remembrance. Coming up, we'll be speaking with the Qatari ambassador to the U.K. about what this moment means for the Middle East and wider Gulf. For now, let's turn it back to Kim Brunhuber who is in Atlanta -- Kim.

ANDERSON: All right, thanks so much, Becky. A supply chain crisis averted with just hours to spare. A tentative deal between U.S. rail unions and railroads means a nationwide strike will now not have happen -- at least for now. We'll have details next.

Plus, Alaska's bracing for the strongest storm to hit the state in a decade. We're live from the Weather Center right after the break. Stay with us.



BRUNHUBER: Well, a sigh of relief for American travelers, consumers and businesses. A rail strike that could have been disastrous for the U.S. economy has been avoided. The tentative deal between labor unions and railroad management was reached on Thursday, just hours before the walkout was set to begin. A source says President Biden made a key call to negotiators warning of catastrophic harm if the deal didn't go through. Here he is.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: This agreement allows us to continue to rebuild a better America, with an economy that truly works for the working people and their families. Today, is a win -- and I mean it sincerely -- a win for America. So, I want to thank you all for getting this done.


BRUNHUBER: The union's rank and file still needs to vote on the deal. Their leadership is telling them the agreement is just what they need. Listen to this.


JEREMY FERGUSON, SMART-TD UNION PRESIDENT: This is monumental for employees, our members, they deserve time off, time with their families. They deserve the ability to get medical care without having to worry about any kind of discipline policy or retribution. So, we work hard for that.


BRUNHUBER: A strike would have slammed the brakes on supply chains across the nation would have been the first of its kind in 30 years.


People in Alaska are bracing for what could be the strongest storm to hit the state in more than a decade. The National Weather Service is urging people along the coast to complete storm preparation soon as conditions will quickly deteriorate in the coming hours. The storm as what is left of Typhoon Merbok and will likely cause some flooding among the west coast of Alaska and hurricane-force winds.

So, let's bring in meteorologist Derek Van Dam. Derek, you've been tracking this so what exactly is heading their way --

DEREK VAN DAM, CNN METEOROLOGIST: A behemoth of the storm, I mean, this thing is impressive. And I just wanted you to see on the side of TV screen here. All those tightly packed yellow lines -- or white lines rather are called isotherms -- and basically are isobar's rather -- and it just shows you the strength and depth of how impressive that area of low pressure is. And when we put together some statistics, here we have stronger storm in over a decade -- according to the National Weather Service. And it's potentially going to bring the worst coastal flooding in nearly 50 years. Rivaling some storms that a lot of residents here that live in Alaska remember from November of 2011. Kind of a benchmark storm that rolled in.

Satellite imagery looking impressive, storms currently moving across the outer fringes of the Aleutian Islands, that's the kind of elephant tusk looking range of islands or archipelagos. We do have the potential for hurricane force winds along the west coast of Alaska. So, right near the Bering Sea, that 50 mile stretch between Russia and the United States, that narrow gap of water there, the Bering Sea, will have impressive, impressive winds, strong winds and also large waves associated with the system as it moves through. So, Kim, an impressive storm, and as you rightly said, the remnants of what was a typhoon over the western Pacific.

BRUNHUBER: All right we'll be tracking that through the weekend. Derek Van Dam thanks so much.

And I will be back later this hour with a story of a victims of sexual assault punished for killing her alleged rapist. First let's go to Becky Anderson in London -- Becky.

ANDERSON: Thank you very much indeed. Well, King Charles has nurtured relationship with Middle East leaders for many years. Just ahead, we will speak with the Qatari ambassador to the U.K. about the Queens passing, and the new royal era that is now unfolding.