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World Leaders Arrive in the U.K.; Queen's State Funeral Set for Monday Morning; NYC Considers Cruise Ships for Temporary Migrant Housing; White House Slams Governors Sending Migrants to Other States; Russia Attacks Ukrainian Infrastructure; USGS Alert for 7.2 Magnitude Earthquake in Taiwan; Soleil Frye Meets Ukrainian Refugees. Aired 3-4a ET

Aired September 18, 2022 - 03:00   ET




KIM BRUNHUBER, CNN ANCHOR AND CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Live from CNN World Headquarters in Atlanta, welcome to all of you watching us here in the United States, Canada and around the world. I'm Kim Brunhuber.

Ahead on CNN NEWSROOM, mourners file past the coffin of Queen Elizabeth as final preparations are made for her funeral. U.S. President Joe Biden among the world leaders now in the U.K. and planning to attend. We'll have the latest in a live report from London.

Ukrainian leaders report another horrific discovery as they gain more ground in the east. We'll have details in a report from Kharkiv.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE (voice-over): Live from CNN Center, this is CNN NEWSROOM with Kim Brunhuber.

BRUNHUBER: It's 8:00 am in London, the final full day that people can come to pay their respects to the late Queen Elizabeth. Public viewing is set to end in less than 24 hours. That's when the queen's coffin will leave Westminster Hall in preparation for her state funeral at Westminster Abbey on Monday morning.

Those who were in the hall at 1:00 pm yesterday witnessed the queen's eight grandchildren holding vigil, have a look.


BRUNHUBER (voice-over): Prince William and Prince Harry, along with their royal cousins, surrounded the queen's coffin, just as their parents had done the day before. Even though Harry is no longer a working royal, the king granted special dispensation for him to wear his ceremonial uniform and medals.

(END VIDEO CLIP) BRUNHUBER: Also on Saturday, the king took some time to personally greet people waiting in the queue and to thank them for their support. CNN's Nada Bashir joins us from London.

Preparations for tomorrow's funeral are well underway.

How are things unfolding?

NADA BASHIR, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Just behind us you can see the roads have been closed. There is a significant police presence. The infrastructure is still being built for the hundreds of members of the press who are expected to descend on this central part of Westminster to cover the state funeral tomorrow.

It is set to be an event beyond compare: 2,000 attending; hundreds of dignitaries have arrived in the United Kingdom, expected to take part in a reception and audience with the king later today.

We are still seeing hundreds of people gathering just down the road from where we are now, beside the Palace of Westminster, where the queen is lying in state. She will be lying in state until around 6:30 am tomorrow morning, the day of the funeral.

There are hundreds still gathering, hoping to have a chance to pay their respects to the queen ahead of the funeral. We've also seen people across the road, camping out in tents.

For some of them two nights now, waiting for the funeral tomorrow, hoping to catch a glimpse of the queen's coffin being carried from the Palace of Westminster in a procession to Westminster Abbey just behind me where the funeral will take place. They've been camping out overnight in the cold. But they say it is a historic moment, that they want to be part of it. I can just bring in a couple of people here who have been waiting in line.

Carrie (ph), hello.


BASHIR: You've been in the queue since 4:30 in the afternoon yesterday?

CARRIE: Yes, where I met this lovely family and so I've been sleeping here overnight. I was asked to come through earlier, about midnight last night. But I really wanted to wait and say hello to the family that I met in the queue.

And this is --


BASHIR: I mean, this is a historic moment.

Why was it so important for you to be part of this moment?

CARRIE: I didn't realize how important it was for me. I didn't think at first I would come. But I think it's all hit us much more than we thought it was going to. Yes. So I'm really glad to have come. Really, really glad to have come.

BASHIR: I hope you get warm, good luck.


CARRIE: Thank you.

BASHIR: Really, that is the message we've been hearing from people up and down this queue for the last few days. This is a moment that they want to be a part of. Many people are still gathering in their hundreds, waiting for that funeral tomorrow.

It's not just the hundreds of foreign dignitaries who will be here to pay their respects; this is something that has hit people across the country quite hard. I've seen people from across the globe who have traveled into the United Kingdom especially for this. They want to be a part of this moment.


BASHIR: Many have told us they're making friends of the people beside them in the queue, people they're hoping to keep in touch with. This is something many will remember, many want to share with their families. It is, of course, a moment of history.

BRUNHUBER: Just another example of the love and dedication people have there. Nada Bashir in London, thank you very much.

Now to Canada, where the queen developed close ties during her long reign. While many Canadians mourn the loss of the queen, there are also those who believe it's time for an end to the monarchy. CNN's Paula Newton shows us both sides and the challenges awaiting King Charles.


PAULA NEWTON, CNN ANCHOR AND CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Nicknamed the Queen's Cowboys, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police on their Musical Ride. Queen Elizabeth adored these horses. She herself rode Burmese, her favorite, for years.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think the fondness stems from her childhood, experiencing the Musical Ride at such a young age, seeing all of the horses and the riders in red and just having that connection to Canada.

NEWTON (voice-over): By the queen's own admission, that connection was profound. She considered Canada her second home, visited the country more than any other, was its queen for nearly half of Canada's existence.

KATHERINE CLARK, DAUGHTER OF FORMER PM: Many people felt they had some kind of personal connection to her.

NEWTON (voice-over): And it is that personal connection that so endeared the queen to Canadians.

Katherine Clark, daughter of former prime minister Joe Clark, remembers a late-night royal event she attended as a young girl.

The queen asked her, "What are you still doing here?"

CLARK: I said, "I'm still here because I can't leave until you leave. So I'm waiting for you to leave."

And she said, "Well, then let's leave together, shall we?"

And off we trotted together and chatted all the way to the elevator.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Wanted to write up the entire visit.

NEWTON (voice-over): It is a standout story among many.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This was their gift, all signed personally. So that's a pretty special photo.

NEWTON (voice-over): Brian and Doug Bailey were young men when the royal family visited their farm in the province of Manitoba.

BRIAN BAILEY, QUEEN'S HOST: We had a wonderful visit with the queen. It was one of those things that, when we got word it was happening, we couldn't quite believe it was going to happen. But it did. And when it happened, it was just like visiting with our neighbors. Prince Charles on this side, Princess Anne here --

NEWTON (voice-over): A young prince there and a glimpse of the affection and charm he must now live up to.


NEWTON (voice-over): For King Charles, Canada will be a challenging testing ground. Even in this realm, a significant number of Canadians want an end to the monarchy.

Many indigenous leaders say the affection for the queen obscured a brutal colonial relationship with Canada's Indigenous peoples. That anger flashed here in Winnipeg in 2021 with the toppling of royal statues.

COURTNEY SKYE, INDIGENOUS RESEARCHER FELLOW: And I think when he accepts all the privileges, he also must accepts the responsibility, the moral responsibility of putting things right.

He could be an ally to (INAUDIBLE) people that he should be, which our agreements say we are to one another. But I'm not sure whether the status quo that relies on that oppression would be so willing to see that progress be made so rapidly.

NEWTON (voice-over): The queen's second home will surely test King Charles and his position as head of the Commonwealth. That position is not guaranteed by his title. If he cannot preserve the monarchy here, it may not stand a chance anywhere -- Paula Newton, CNN, Ottawa. (END VIDEOTAPE)

BRUNHUBER: Coverage of the queen's funeral begins Monday right here on CNN. It starts at 5:00 am in New York. That's 10:00 am in London.

The Biden administration is slamming some Republican governors for sending asylum seekers to other states. The White House says the governors of Texas, Arizona and Florida are using migrants as pawns in a cruel political stunt.

This after Florida's governor used taxpayer money to send two planes of migrants from Texas to Massachusetts last week. The Department of Homeland Security also denounced Texas and Arizona for sending migrants to other states.

The actions from the Republican governors like Florida's Ron DeSantis are meant to protest what they say are inadequate federal efforts on southern border security. Communities in the northern liberal states and cities receiving the asylum seekers are rallying to help them.

New York City officials are expanding plans for temporary housing and other services. CNN's Athena Jones has more from New York.


ATHENA JONES, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Here in New York City, Mayor Adams is considering a number of options for dealing with this huge influx of migrants the city has seen in recent days, including temporarily housing them on cruise ships.


JONES: This is something the city isn't sure is going to be able to do but something to look into. This is something he said in an exclusive interview with local affiliate WCBS. He also said the city is looking at opening another 38 emergency shelters. That's in addition to the 23 emergency shelters that have already been propped up to deal with this surge.

We're talking about huge numbers here, nearly 12,000 migrants coming into this city just in the last several weeks. About 8,500 of those migrants are being housed in the city's shelter system.

They're being offered services through a welcome center hosted in the American Red Cross headquarters here in New York. They're being offered services like food, shelter, medical screenings, vaccinations. This is similar to what we're seeing with the migrants who landed on Martha's Vineyard on Wednesday.

They have now, all 50, been voluntarily transferred to Joint Base Cape Cod, which is being used as an emergency shelter, a place that was used in the past as an emergency shelter for victims of Hurricane Katrina.

And there they will receive wrap-around services; again, clothing, hygiene kits, nutrition, have their needs assessed. They'll have access to health care, to mental health and crisis counseling and also to legal services.

Civil rights attorneys who have been working with the migrants on Martha's Vineyard said they interviewed dozens of them and that the big issue here is the lack of coordination.

The fact that they were sent thousands of miles away and there was no notice given to the cities and towns receiving them. Listen to more of what she had to say.


RACHEL SELF, IMMIGRATION ATTORNEY: They were lied to again and again and fraudulently induced to board the planes. They were told there was a surprise present for them and that there would be jobs and housing awaiting for them when they arrived.

This was obviously a sadistic lie. Not only do those responsible for this stunt know that there was no housing and no employment awaiting the migrants, they also very intentionally chose not to call ahead.


JONES: That lawyer said some of these migrants have -- are due in court, due in immigration proceedings, as early as Monday in places that are thousands of miles away from where they are now -- San Antonio; Tacoma, Washington.

To be clear here, these migrants are asylum seekers. They have been processed by federal immigration authorities and they are awaiting court dates. Under federal law, they are not here illegally; they are not unlawful, they are not unauthorized.

They are vulnerable people fleeing difficult situations, some of them having traveled through up to 10 countries to get here.

We also know that this is a potent political issue for these red state governors, like Florida's Ron DeSantis. We know that, for Republican voters, immigration is one of their very top, most pressing issues. But again, a lot of these critics of this move saying that it's cruel, it's inhumane and it's undignified -- Athena Jones, CNN, New York.



BRUNHUBER: For more, let's bring in CNN's senior political analyst Ron Brownstein, senior editor at "The Atlantic." He joins us from Los Angeles.

Thanks for being with us, Ron. These Republican governors from Texas, Arizona, Florida, they're trying to outdo each other with these stunts, shipping migrants thither and yon.

Is there more than symbolic theatrics at play?

Is it part of a larger strategy? RON BROWNSTEIN, CNN SR. POLITICAL ANALYST: I think so. First, thinking about immigration itself, through these relocations and also through actions that Abbott in particular is taking in Texas, you can see the Republican governors are trying to assert more state authority over immigration policy, which is an arena that the courts, through American history, has ruled is almost exclusively a province of the federal government.

At the same time they're doing that, they have filed -- there are currently 20 lawsuits pending by various coalitions of red states, trying to restrict Biden's ability to undo hardline enforcement policies from Donald Trump.

So you can see the red states trying to gain control over immigration. And I see that as just one front in the much larger war, in which, through the same combination of actions in court and the unilateral actions in the states, the red states are trying to really reverse what has been a 60-year progression in the U.S. of nationalizing more rights and limiting the ability of states to restrict them.

Instead, we're seeing states roll back abortion rights, LGBTQ rights, voting rights, censoring teachers, banning books. This is a serious attempt, in effect, to have a revolution from below and to seize control of national policy, even while Democrats hold the White House and Congress.

BRUNHUBER: Yes, you've written extensively about how they're trying to build this nation within a nation, focusing specifically on immigration.


BRUNHUBER: It's clear their moves -- it's enormously popular with their base, the MAGA base in particular. But it seems like a risky political strategy, given the growing Latino populations in their states.

Texas, for instance, Latinos, according to the most recent census estimates, have now become the largest demographic group in the state. But these governors have presumably done the math.

What are we missing here?

BROWNSTEIN: Yes, well, you know, it's interesting; over the years, I think there has been kind of a renewed understanding that immigration itself is not typically the most important issue of Latino voters, even though many people for many years thought that it was.

They are more focused on the economy, on education and health care. And the threat that Democrats have is that Latinos, like young people, especially like blue collar whites, are all groups that really feel it when gas prices and grocery prices go up.

In a lot of white collar America, higher inflation is an inconvenience. That leaves more space to vote on values issues like abortion, guns, the belief that Trump is a threat to democracy. But I think in Latino communities, many of these are families living

at the edge and are really feeling squeezed by inflation. And that could be the paradox. The Democrats could see their support for -- among Latinos erode somewhat in 2022, even as Republicans move further to the right on immigration.

BRUNHUBER: Still, you'd think that demonizing these migrants like this, treating them so cavalierly, would incur some sort of political cost.

But anyway, for Ron DeSantis, at least, some of this is being seen through the prism of presidential politics. For the Democrats, among the most vocal opponents of this busing migrants tactic, has been Gavin Newsom of California, your state, inserting himself whenever possible into these types of conflicts with leading Republicans.

Just the other day, Newsom challenged DeSantis to a debate over the Martha's Vineyard stunt. The two have been touted as potential presidential foes in 2024. But for both of them, they'd have to unseat the incumbent or presumed incumbent in the case of Trump.

Are we going to see a generational fight within the parties here?

BROWNSTEIN: I think if Biden runs, I do not think Gavin Newsom or any other significant Democrat will challenge him. And I think if Biden believes that Trump is going to run, Biden is going to run.

I mean, we're kind of like -- you're kind of locked in. If you get one, you probably get both. DeSantis clearly has, as you can see this on many fronts, from his conflicts with Disney to his efforts to control not only what schools but private corporations, how they talk about race -- he has taken the lesson of the Trump years to be that Republicans want a fighter.

They want someone who is fighting with liberal institutions. Almost doesn't matter on what the issue is. Kind of sticking it to the other side is the value that most energizes the base of the Republican Party. And that is the mantle that he is trying to fill.

In many ways, Newsom, who I interviewed a few months ago on this, is filling a void. Joe Biden came into office with a theory that he was going to be something like a Dwight Eisenhower, a senior statesman, an elder figure, who was going to wrap his arms around the political conflict and bring both sides together.

Instead he's had to deal with an incredibly militant effort by the red states, as I said, to seize control of national policy across a whole range of issues. He's been kind of slow all the way throughout to fully confront what is happening in the red states. He's gotten there in many cases but in kind of a lengthy fashion.

I think Newsom has seen that vacuum in the Democratic Party for someone who will call out what Abbott and DeSantis and Ducey and others are doing on issues like abortion and voting and now immigration. And he has moved very aggressively to try to fill that and, in the

process, raising his profile in a way that will allow him, I think, to become a serious candidate in '24, if, for whatever reason, Joe Biden doesn't run.

BRUNHUBER: All right, we shall see. As always, appreciate the analysis. Ron Brownstein, thanks so much.

BROWNSTEIN: Thanks for having me.


BRUNHUBER: Ukraine is revealing new images, claiming they're evidence of grisly crimes during the Russian occupation. Still ahead, the discovery of alleged torture rooms in areas held by Russia.





BRUNHUBER: Ukraine is reporting a second horrific discovery following the rout of Russian troops in the northeast.


BRUNHUBER (voice-over): Ukrainian prosecutors released these images reportedly showing what they describe as torture rooms in the Kharkiv region. Ukraine says it discovered more than 10 of those rooms after the Russian retreat along with alleged torture devices.

CNN has reached out to Russia for response. Ukraine now says Russia has committed more than 34,000 war crimes and crimes of aggression since the war began. President Volodymyr Zelenskyy says his country will go after the perpetrators, here he is.



VOLODYMYR ZELENSKYY, UKRAINIAN PRESIDENT (through translator): Torture was a widespread practice in the occupied territory. That's what the Nazis did. This is what the Russians do. And they will be held accountable in the same way, both on the battlefield and in courtrooms.

We will establish all the identities of those who tortured, who abused, who brought this atrocity from Russia here to our Ukrainian land.


BRUNHUBER: Meanwhile, Russian state media report a gunfight broke out Saturday in the center of the occupied city of Kherson. It says Russian troops clashed with a group of armed men, who were, quote, "neutralized."

Ukraine has been making incremental gains in the region, reportedly hoping to retake it in the coming months. Ukraine now says Russian troops are constructing a makeshift river crossing to use as an escape route. Ukraine also says Russia is taking aim at its infrastructure after its retreat in the Kharkiv region.


BRUNHUBER: They're saying Russia unleashed missiles, rockets and airstrikes on at least 30 areas across the country on Saturday. As Ben Wedeman reports from Kharkiv, Ukraine doesn't plan on stopping its offensive.


BEN WEDEMAN, CNN SR. INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Ukrainian forces continue to gain more ground in the Kharkiv region, although at a slower pace than over the last two weeks, while Russian forces are trying to dig new defensive lines in the areas they still control.

The governor of the Kharkiv region says that his priority at the moment is to restore basic services -- electricity, water, heating -- in the newly liberated areas.

While efforts continue to exhume more bodies at the mass burial site outside Izyum and Ukrainian officials are showing journalists what they say were Russian prisons, complete with torture rooms.

This area continues to come under bombardment from Russian forces. Early Saturday morning, Russian missiles slammed into an industrial site here in the city of Kharkiv. In a nearby town, a Russian barrage, according to Ukrainian officials, killed an 11-year-old girl -- I'm Ben Wedeman, CNN, reporting from Kharkiv.


BRUNHUBER: For the first time, Sweden and Finland have attended an annual conference of NATO's defense chiefs. Both countries were invited by the alliance to the meeting in Estonia, as they're widely expected to become NATO's newest members in the months ahead.

A top adviser said their inclusion would greatly benefit the organization.


ADM. ROB BAUER, NATO MILITARY COMMITTEE CHAIR: The accession of Finland and Sweden, with their impressive defense capabilities, will both enhance the security of the Baltic Sea region and strengthen the alliance as a whole.


BRUNHUBER: That was Dutch Admiral Rob Bauer, who also pledged to continue supporting Ukraine as it fends off Russia.

A quick break, more news in just a moment. For international viewers, "INSIDE AFRICA" is next.






BRUNHUBER (voice-over): What you're seeing now are live images of Westminster Hall in London, where today marks the final full day for people to come pay their respects to the late Queen Elizabeth. Public viewing is set to end in less than 24 hours.


BRUNHUBER: Welcome back to all of you in the United States and Canada. I'm Kim Brunhuber, this is CNN NEWSROOM.

Thousands upon thousands of people continue to wait in a long queue outside London's Westminster Hall, hoping to view Queen Elizabeth's coffin before tomorrow's funeral. This is the final full day of public viewing.

It's been an extraordinary turnout with an estimated 2 million expected to pay their respects by tomorrow morning. CNN's Max Foster has our report.


MAX FOSTER, CNN ROYAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): A steady tide of mourners pouring into the ancient Westminster Hall. It looks and feels like a pilgrimage.

After hours waiting in line, a personal moment of thanks to the Queen.

King Charles III with his son, Prince William, met them outside to the delight of those waiting.

WILLIAM, PRINCE OF WALES: It means an awful lot that you are here.

FOSTER (voice-over): They had queued for hours and came from across the United Kingdom and the world.

Security was tight. There was a phones down rule as well. A Royal source told CNN it was so people can enjoy the moment with their new King.

CHARLES III, KING OF ENGLAND: Shake hands. Enjoy your stay. Make the much of it.

FOSTER (voice-over): The Queen's youngest son, Prince Edward, also approached the crowds alongside his wife, the Countess of Wessex.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Seventy years on the throne. She's such a loved lady, that it's just the right thing to do. I think, I saw a lot of people in the line there who are feeling, lots of different nations and colors and everything here.

It's just lovely.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This is good morale. It is a good day. Everyone is feeling really positive. It's a lovely atmosphere.

FOSTER (voice-over): The king also made time to thank emergency responders ahead of the State Funeral which police say will be their largest ever operation.

Global leaders continue to descend on London for the big Monday event, paying tributes and signing condolences at Lancaster House.

JUSTIN TRUDEAU, CANADIAN PRIME MINISTER: She was our queen for almost half of our country's existence, who came of age under her reign.

FOSTER (voice-over): They also lined up in Westminster Hall, paying their respects and some even sharing a meal with the king and other royals at Buckingham Palace.

And then a somber vigil for the queen from her grandchildren that she helped bring up.

Princes William and Harry both in ceremonial uniform; Harry under special dispensation by the king, adorned with medals presented by the queen to mark her many jubilees and also his military service.

The brothers bowed their heads at opposite sides of the coffin. Their cousins, Eugenie and Beatrice, Zara and Peter, as well as the youngest, Lady Louise, and 14-year-old Viscount Severn stood firm, facing the crowds, a show of unity for the nation in mourning.

In the words of Princesses Eugenie and Beatrice, a collective loss for a matriarch, a beloved queen and a beloved grandmother -- Max Foster, CNN, Westminster, London.


BRUNHUBER: As Max reported, global leaders are traveling to London to honor the late queen. President Joe Biden and first lady Jill Biden arrived on Saturday. Arlette Saenz has more on the Bidens' visit.


ARLETTE SAENZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: President Biden and first lady Jill Biden arrived in London late Saturday night as they are preparing to honor the life of Queen Elizabeth II. That will start with events on Sunday afternoon as the president and first lady will travel to Westminster Hall to pay their respects to Queen Elizabeth.

[03:35:00] SAENZ: They will also later sign an official condolence book before attending a reception held by King Charles III at Buckingham Palace, which will also include other members of the royal family.

The president spoke with King Charles on Wednesday to offer his condolences to the family. But that reception could possibly give them a chance to offer those condolences in person, face-to-face, to both the king and other members of the royal family.

Now on Monday, the president and first lady will be among the up to 2,000 guests who will be attending the state funeral for Queen Elizabeth at Westminster Abbey. No official guest list has been unveiled yet.

But the president is expected to be one of many world leaders who will be on hand for those ceremonies, including the French president, Emmanuel Macron, and also the president of South Korea.

Now also, the U.K. had initially said that President Biden would be meeting with the new prime minister, Liz Truss, on Sunday. But both the White House and Downing Street on Saturday announced that that bilateral meeting will actually take place here in the U.S., in New York, on Wednesday on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly.

But this trip to London will offer President Biden an opportunity to express condolences from the American people to the British people, as well as honor the life of Queen Elizabeth, who they met last at Windsor Castle in June of 2021.

The queen hosted the president and first lady there. And in a statement after her passing, they said that she charmed them with her wit and moved them with her kindness. And the president also said that she wasn't just a monarch but she defined an era -- Arlette Saenz, CNN, the White House.


BRUNHUBER: In the state of Georgia, the two main candidates for governor are locked in a virtual tie with just weeks to go before the election. Democrat Stacey Abrams trying to win over voters by pledging more social benefits, among them health care. CNN's Eva McKend has the story.


EVA MCKEND, CNN NATIONAL POLITICS CORRESPONDENT: A busy day for Stacey Abrams from Atlanta and Athens, home of University of Georgia, telling supporters at a labor union rally, if elected, she'll work to expand Medicaid, reinstate free technical college and work to address the growing number of hospital closures in the state.


STACEY ABRAMS (D-GA), GUBERNATORIAL CANDIDATE: I'm here for the families that are in need of health care but are being denied access because Brian Kemp will not expand Medicaid in the state of Georgia.

I'm here because, right now in Atlanta, there's a countdown to the closure of yet another level 1 trauma center, the sixth hospital to shut down under his failed leadership.

We've got 19 more on the watch list and I refuse to watch another hospital shut down and that's why I intend to be the next governor for the great state of Georgia.


MCKEND: Republican incumbent governor Brian Kemp, long opposed to Medicaid expansion, saying it would be too costly, arguing he should get another four years in office for the way he's led the state on economic issues. Kemp will address the Jewish Coalition in Sandy Springs Sunday -- Eva McKend, CNN, Athens, Georgia.


BRUNHUBER: Thousands without power in Puerto Rico as tropical storm Fiona approaches. Our Derek Van Dam is tracking it and will have the forecast when we come back.

And the Mosquito fire has burned more than 73,000 acres in northern California. Firefighters are about to get some much-needed assistance with the blaze.





BRUNHUBER: This just in: Japan has issued a tsunami warning for its far southwestern islands after a large earthquake struck nearby Taiwan. The U.S. Geological Survey says the 7.2 magnitude quake hit a rural area off the island's southeastern coast.

So far, no immediate reports of damage. We'll continue to follow the story and bring you more information as we get it.

Typhoon Namnadol lashing southwestern Japan at this hour. About 2 million have been ordered to evacuate the island of Kyushu because of possible landslides. Millions more are in the storm's path as it moves over Japan.

Weather officials warn of violent winds, high waves and storm surge. They say the typhoon could cause a large-scale disaster that happens once every few decades.

In Puerto Rico, thousands are boarding up and stocking up as tropical storm Fiona gets closer. A hurricane warning has been issued as forecasters expect the storm to strengthen by the time it passes over or near the island. They say life-threatening flooding and mudslides are possible the next several days.



BRUNHUBER: Puerto Rican rapper and singer Bad Bunny premiered the video of his song, "The Blackout" this weekend, have a look.


BRUNHUBER: The song denounces the response to power outages that have plagued Puerto Rico since it was devastated by Hurricane Maria nearly five years ago. The video is also a critique of corruption in the Puerto Rican government.

Bad Bunny has been in the forefront of protests in the past three years and also helped write "Sharpening the Knives," which became an anthem for the protest movement.

California's Mosquito wildfire has been burning less than two weeks east of Sacramento but it's already exploded into the state's largest blaze this year. Crews battling the flames hope they'll get an assist from some much-needed rain. CNN's Camila Bernal reports.


CAMILA BERNAL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Firefighters are expecting to make significant progress thanks to the rain. That rain is forecasted between Sunday and Monday. And they feel like they've already made some progress and will be able to continue to do that over the next couple of days.

Because of the rain and because of the lower temperatures. Unfortunately, this fire has already destroyed more than 70,000 acres. There are assessment teams trying to figure out how many structures have been destroyed.

And thankfully, some evacuation orders are being lifted. That's why Cal Fire and local authorities are telling people to be very careful and pay attention to those evacuation orders because some people will likely be able to return to their homes.

The other aspect of all of this is that big picture, what experts are saying is that the rain could slow the ongoing fire season. It will not put an end to it because temperatures are going to continue to rise even later on in the week.

Temperatures are predicted to be higher but they do believe this sort of will slow down what's going on in California at the moment. Experts do say we have to pay attention later on in September and October because there is always the possibility for more fires as California is going through this ongoing drought and everything is just so dry -- Camila Bernal, CNN, Los Angeles.

(END VIDEOTAPE) BRUNHUBER: Still ahead, a Hollywood actress shares her experiences meeting with Ukrainian refugees and internally displaced persons. Stay with us.





BRUNHUBER: The war in Ukraine motivated American actress Soleil Frye to do something unusual, personal and highly emotional. She visited hundreds of Ukrainian refugees and internally displaced persons to learn more about them, their horrific stories and what they need now. She spoke with CNN's Chloe Melas.


CHLOE MELAS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Soleil spent one week with Ukrainian refugees in Poland and listened to their stories, of how they escaped with just the clothes on their backs.


SOLEIL MOON FRYE, ACTOR: The courage of these families and the heart of these people in the face of such adversity is just incredible. And I dream about them every night. I think about their faces and these beautiful children.

You have an 8-year old, 12-year old, 14-year old in this beautiful family, who has nothing except for each other and the clothes on their back.

I was able to visit with over 400 families in Western Ukraine that are refugees and IDPs. And the stories are gut-wrenching; everything from children, who had been living in a gymnasium for five months, to these incredible families who I met, who had just come over 12 hours earlier; three children, clothes on their back; schoolteacher, kindergarten teacher, who had to leave because of the threat to the nuclear power plant in her neighborhood.

Met another woman on the train and her beautiful story, her home had been missiled, was no longer there. They had to evacuate. One of the most heart-wrenching parts of this was not only to see these beautiful children.


FRYE: Both of their sons were 14 years old. And they were strip searched. And the army was claiming that they were over 14 years old.

So these boys are strip searched, naked. And these mothers just pulling their sons away saying, no, they're only 14 years old. And they were the fortunate ones that were able to get their sons out. There are so many people that have not been able to get their families out.


MELAS: But she also crossed the border into Western Ukraine and spoke to people who aren't ready to say goodbye to the country they love or can't because they have elderly relatives to care for; some not wanting to go because their husbands must stay and fight.


FRYE: Some of these families who I came to love so much, their parents are elderly. They can't be that far away from them. Their husbands are off fighting. They don't want to be that far away from them. So they are -- they're in a -- they're in a position in which they are there with pure heart and soul to stay in the country that they love.


MELAS: Soleil says with winter months coming, the people of Ukraine need help now more than ever to improve their current living situations. And they are in need of critical resources, like food and water and a safe place to live.


BRUNHUBER: That wraps this hour of CNN NEWSROOM. I'm Kim Brunhuber. I'll be back in just a moment with more news. Please do stay with us.