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CNN International: Urgent Search for Survivors After Morocco Earthquake; Search for Escaped Killer Enters 12th Day; Rubiales Resigns as Spain's Soccer Chief After Unwanted Kiss Backlash; U.S. President Meets with Top Officials in Hanoi; Morocco Accepts Aid From Four Countries, More Ready to Help. Aired 4-4:30a ET

Aired September 11, 2023 - 04:00   ET



BIANCA NOBILO, CNN ANCHOR: Hello and a warm welcome to our viewers joining us in the United States and all around the world. I'm Bianca Nobilo.

MAX FOSTER, CNN ANCHOR: And I'm Max Foster joining you from London. It is Monday, September the 11th, 9:00 a.m. here in London, 9 a.m. -- 9:00 a.m. in Morocco as well, where rescuers are racing against the clock to find more survivors of Friday's powerful earthquake as the death toll continues to climb. More than 2,100 people are now confirmed dead after the country was hit by a 6.8 magnitude quake, the strongest. In more than 120 years. Both Spain and the U.K. have sent search and rescue teams to help as other international aid is also being pledged.

NOBILO: Near the quakes epicenter in the Atlas Mountains, scenes of destruction and devastation, with homes in small villages reduced to piles of rubble. Many people have spent another night outside. Now the frustration and desperation is building, especially in some of the hard hit and remote areas.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): You can smell the corpses everywhere. It's a shame the authorities didn't help these people. Some people have received aid, tents and food. However, some villages have not received anything, especially in the mountainous areas with dangerous roads. I hope that the authorities and civil society will show more solidarity. In these areas.


NOBILO: CNN's Nada Bashir has more now from Marrakesh.


NADA BASHIR, CNN REPORTER: Well, the death toll is still continuing to climb and it is unclear at this stage how many people are still buried beneath the rubble. But this search and rescue operation is very much ongoing and it could be for several days. And it has been a struggle over the weekend for search and rescue

teams to make it to some of the areas hardest hit by Friday's earthquake. Many of these villages are located in remote areas of the Atlas Mountains, which are typically hard to get to, but also the roads have also sustained damage and that has pose an obstacle to rescue teams.

But what we are beginning to see now is international search and rescue teams joining the effort, coming to Morocco to support on that front. But there will also be a focus on the humanitarian relief front as well. Of course, many of those across the Atlas Manners, across the areas impacted around the epicenter have lost their homes. Have lost absolutely everything. And so they will be needing that support for some time to come.

Here in Marrakech, what we have seen over the weekend, for three nights in a row now actually, is families sleeping in the street, choosing to sleep outside for fear of another aftershock, or potentially another earthquake. Many have said that they're too afraid that their homes aren't safe and that the structures of their buildings could give way. So that is a real fear for many across the country in those areas impacted by the earthquake.

But we have seen an outpouring of community support as well. There has been a real push for people to go out and donate blood. We've seen queues of people lining up to support on that front. And we're beginning to see people gathering crucial items for those impacted. Loading vans and travelling almost to the areas impacted to support with the humanitarian relief effort.

But this is going to be a process that takes days, if not months. And when it comes to the recovery effort, the rebuild effort that could take years.

Nada Bashir, CNN, Marrakesh.


FOSTER: CNN's Larry Madowo following developments and joins us live from Lagos. And Larry, the next 24, 48 hours are really critical, aren't they?

LARRY MADOWO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: They will be absolutely critical, especially in the worst hit areas of Morocco in this high Atlas Mountains region where the worst impact has been has been felt. This is where the villages have seen roads blocked, sometimes buildings flattened. The people who are probably still trapped there. And that's why it's so important to get search and rescue teams to these places to try and carry out whatever amount of rescue they can do to pull people out of the rubble, out of their homes and get them to safety.

There's seems to be a lot of food and water, but medicine sometimes is running in short supply and that's why you see this criticism of Morocco not accepting more international aid. So far, the government of Morocco has only accepted aid, search and rescue efforts and the likes from Spain, Qatar, the UAE and the U.K., but there's been offers from all around the world. From neighboring countries like Tunisia and Algeria, to France, to Oman, to even as far as Taiwan. But so far the official government explanation is that having too many people in at the same time will be counterproductive. Even though the UN coordinator in Morocco says it's coordinating all the offers of international help. And so in these crucial hours after the earthquake that time is running out.


This earthquake happened Friday night. We're on Monday morning now. The chances of getting people alive are slimming, the longer this takes. To be fair, Morocco has a strong emergency support system. There's a lot of people who've been working day and night since this happened to try and get people to safety, and people have been pulled out of rubble in many cases. But the longer this takes, the fewer chances are that they will get more people still out of this. And there are still people who remain unaccounted for. Family members who say they can't reach their loved ones, who know they were in these -- In this -- in these areas and just haven't heard from them.

And then there's also, for instance, in one hard hit area, people told to say this makeshift camps for at least a week just to be safe. It's not the best of conditions, but under the circumstances that's the best they can do.

FOSTER: OK, Larry in Lagos, thank you. More information about how you can help the victims of the Morocco earthquake to go to

NOBILO: Hurricane Lee is back to being a Category 3 storm sending dangerous surf and rip currents to parts of the U.S. East Coast. Forecasters say that Lee's top sustained winds are around 120 miles an hour or 193 kilometers an hour, and it could reach Category 4 strength in the coming hours.

FOSTER: The storm's long term path is still hard to predict though. It's been impacting islands in the Caribbean. By midweek, forecasters believe it'll make a turn to the north, eventually moving between Bermuda and the U.S. East Coast.

OK. Just figuring out where we're going to -- OK, as you heard just now we were reporting about law enforcement describing Danelo Cavalcante slipping through their sealed off perimeter as a set back. This is the search in the U.S. for this escapee. Charles Ramsey is a law enforcement analyst, so we got some perspective from him about what's the latest developments as authorities work to catch the convicted killer.


POLO SANDOVAL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, the Firehouse that you see behind me here in Chester County, Pennsylvania, serving as a temporary command center for this search as they work to track down Danelo Cavalcante. Investigators here earlier said that the latest developments are considered, quote, a minor setback. Though when you look at those developments, that certainly could be considered an understatement, given that authorities really have no idea where to begin searching right now. And here's why as you retrace the steps of this escaped killer since Saturday night.

They believe at one point he managed to escape that perimeter near Lockwood Gardens, which was being looked at by authorities for several days. Eventually he made it his way into, or at least onto a dairy farm, which is where investigators believe he managed to steal a van. Because the keys were left inside. Cavalcante believed to have gone on a drive of about 22 miles or so north into the Phoenixville, Pennsylvania area, where a surveillance camera at the residence of a former colleague of his actually captured him there.

And when you look at it, this is really the latest image that we have, or at least one of them that we have showing Cavalcante. Appears to be in fairly good spirits, especially for being somebody who's been on the run for a week and a half. The hoodie that he's wearing, according to investigators, he actually stole from that dairy farm.

Eventually, Cavalcante then resumes its drive, making it west to Northern Chester County, specifically in East Nantmeal Township. That is where investigators say the vehicle literally ran out of gas forcing him to ditch that car. And that is where there is a temporary perimeter set up. Authorities are searching that particular area, though they have no reason to believe that it could potentially still be there.

During a press conference on Sunday, Lieutenant Colonel George Bivens addressing some mounting criticism that this individual was able to slip past hundreds of men and women in law enforcement.

LT. COL. GEORGE BIVENS, PENNSYLVANIA STATE POLICE: I'm not going to make an excuse to you. I wish it had not happened. Unfortunately, there are a lot of circumstances. There are a lot of issues associated with that property. Tunnels with very large drainage ditches, things that could not be secured. You couple that with weather, aviation being down for a night. There are a number of reasons. Again, no excuses.

SANDOVAL: Bivin said that they have no reason to believe that Cavalcante may have crossed state lines, so this very much still remains a search. This focused in Pennsylvania, though federal authorities are still involved. Especially given the initial concern that he may have been headed to Mexico and then potentially to his native Brazil.

Authorities did say on Sunday also that his sister is currently in the custody of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, though they did not elaborate on any details regarding any potential charges there. They did say, however, they're one of the biggest focuses right now is to try to prevent a potential carjacking, but also to cut off any potential support that Cavalcante may turn. Polo

Polo Sandoval, CNN, Chester County, Pennsylvania.



FOSTER: We can now hear from CNN, senior law enforcement analyst Charles Ramsey to get some perspective about what all of this means.


CHARLES RAMSEY, CNN SENIOR LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: It's certainly a set back for the effort to try to arrest him. I mean, they had him contained in an area he was able to slip through. He was able to get access to a truck, so he had transportation. And he was able to shave and he was able to change clothes. So it is a set back. There's no question about that.

But these things are difficult. I mean, it's not like television where everything kind of, you know, turns out OK at the end. You know, they're still on it. They're still after him. But he needs money. He needs transportation, he needs food. The longer he's out there, the more desperate he becomes. And of course, I heard the reporter mentioned the possibility of carjacking or whatever. But he does need transportation. He's going to have to find a way to get out of this immediate area. And he's a desperate man.


NOBILO: Spain's football chief has stepped down amid his World Cup kissing scandal. Coming up, more on the fallout from the controversy and what this means for women's soccer in Spain.

FOSTER: Plus, a diplomatic dust up between the U.K. and China. We'll explain why the reported arrests of two British Parliament employees has led to a war of words between the two nations.

NOBILO: And actors Ashton Kutcher and Mila Kunis are speaking out after backlash from writing character letters for their former co-star Danny Masterson, who's been sentenced to prison for rape. Details ahead.


FOSTER: President Joe Biden is in Vietnam this hour working his way through a very busy final day in that country. He unveiled what the U.S. describes as a comprehensive strategic partnership for the two nations during meetings with the country's prime minister.

NOBILO: That was followed by talks with Vietnam's president and a state launch. Then came a meeting with the chairman of the country's National Assembly and he'll visit a memorial to U.S. Senator John McCain before he leaves Hanoi.

CNN's Anna Coren is there, and she joins us now live. Anna, these meetings are an exercise in the U.S. strategy to try and align themselves economically and strategically with friends in the region, rather than rely too much on China for chips or economic partnerships when they have these tensions that are brewing.

ANNA COREN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, absolutely, Bianca. What we have seen it take place today is multibillion dollar deals between U.S. companies and Vietnamese companies. We've had the heads of Boeing, of Intel, Microsoft here and we have heard confirmed that Vietnam Airlines have signed a $7.8 billion deal with Boeing to acquire the purchase of 50 737 MAX aircraft. We know that Microsoft, NVIDIA, AMCOR and Marvel have also done deals. We'll learn the finer details a little bit later.

But you know what we are seeing are the tangible results of what comes out of a comprehensive strategic partnership. This was an exclusive club that Vietnam had with the likes of China and Russia. Now America is part of it. And Vietnam is a rapidly growing economy. 20 years ago they were making T-shirts, now they are heavily involved in the semiconductor industry. And we heard from President Biden saying there's going to be deep cooperation and investment in cloud computing, semiconductors and the AI industry.

But this isn't just about trade and economic development for Vietnam. This is also America shoring up its alliances, its friends countering Chinas influence and assertiveness in the Indo Pacific region. Vietnam is a key player in that. America is its largest export partner. It's second largest trading partner. So this is something that they know is highly valuable.

We heard from President Biden overnight when he addressed the press saying that America is not going anywhere. Take a listen.


JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: All the effort we've advanced from day one of my administration, to demonstrate to our Indo Pacific partners and to the world the United States is a Pacific nation. And we're not going anywhere.


NOBILO: Anna Corrin there for us live in Hanoi, having a couple of signal issues this morning.

FOSTER: And as Anna just mentioned, Mr. Biden said he is sincere about his wish to improve America's difficult relationship with China and says his Asia trip is not about limiting Chinas influence.

NOBILO: His comments came after the Chinese Foreign Ministry suggested that the U.S. is trying to, in his words, target a third party, namely Beijing, during his visit to India and Vietnam. CNN political and national security analyst David Sanger spoke about the situation with us earlier on.


DAVID SANGER, CNN POLITICAL AND NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: So the Chinese see what the U.S. is doing as containment, or at least so they say they do. And I can understand why it looks that way. Biden has been much more successful than any of his recent predecessors, including President Trump and President Obama, in cutting off exports to China that are useful for military purposes but that are also critical to China's development in the most high tech industries. That includes doing high end semiconductors. It includes the hardware you need and much of the software to do artificial intelligence and to do quantum computing.

So when the Chinese look at this, they say, well, you're not just trying to stop our military from developing. You're also trying to keep China from being a competitor in the biggest, most profitable industries of the future. And they're not wrong in that.



NOBILO: The Spanish Football Federation is looking for a new boss after Luis Rubiales resigned as president. This follows weeks of criticism over that unwanted kiss that he gave star player Jennifer Hermoso after their women's World Cup victory.

FOSTER: On Friday, the Spanish national prosecutor filed a complaint against Rubiales for sexual assault and coercion against Hermoso. In a social media post, Rubiales maintained his innocence and said he'll continue to defend his honor.

Amanda's with us. I mean, a lot of people confused by this because he's stepping down, which seems to suggest he accepts some wrongdoing. But he's not accepting wrongdoing. He's defending his innocence. And he said -- well, he hasn't apologized.

AMANDA DAVIS, CNN WORLD SPORT: No, he hasn't. I mean, I think a lot of people thought 3 weeks ago he should have stepped down immediately and he didn't. And the question now is, is it pressure or is it sports politics that has led to this? This is a man who, since that day on, on August the 20th, has been suspended by world football's governing body, FIFA. He has had calls from his Spanish Federation to resign. He's had 81 national players go on strike and refuse to play for him. And then on Friday the Spanish prosecutor opening those criminal proceedings and he has remained defiant. And the manner in this of this resignation has certainly not won him any more fans. It hasn't placated the people calling for him to resign.

You know, a headline grabbing television interview with this statement where he has continued to maintain his innocence. There is no mention of the Women's World Cup winning side. There is no apology or mention of Jenni Hermoso. There's no acknowledgment of any wrongdoing. Let me read you some of it. It says:

It's evidence I can't continue in my position. To insist in waiting around and holding on to that won't contribute anything positive, neither to the Federation nor to Spanish football. Among other things, because there are actual powers which will prevent my return. My daughters, my family, the people who love me have suffered the effects of excessive persecution as well as many falsehoods. But it's also true that on the street, more and more everyday, the truth is prevailing.

He has said he's going to continue to fight. The Spanish prosecutors will continue their investigation. The Spanish Football Federation will be looking for a new man in charge.

But what we're talking about here is now so much bigger than just one man. The Spanish players have been talking about wanting a cultural change. That's what has become the wider topic of conversation in Spain as a whole. And one line in the statement referring to the World Cup bid that Spain have on the table for 2030, alongside Morocco and Portugal, perhaps suggests the real reason behind this move from him now. But he equally --

FOSTER: It's not winnable with him in charge.

DAVIS: Exactly. There's pressure from not only the rest of Europe, but also Africa, also European football's governing body UEFA. But the fact that sports politics comes into play shows how much more challenging it is to actually change an entire culture. It's not about one man.

FOSTER: Amanda, thank you so much.

NOBILO: Michigan State University has suspended its head football coach as it investigates allegations of sexual misconduct. Mel Tucker has been suspended without pay as the university looks into allegations that he spoke and acted inappropriately during a phone call with Brenda Tracy. She's a rape survivor and prominent advocate who's done work with the team.

FOSTER: Tucker claims his relationship with Tracy was mutually consensual and intimate, but she says otherwise. Michigan State says it is acting decisively to investigate the allegations. You'll recall its leaders repeatedly missed opportunities to stop Larry Nasser, the former U.S.A. Gymnastics and Michigan State physician. He was convicted of sexually abusing young athletes under the guise of medical treatment.

Humanitarian aid is being distributed that -- after that deadly earthquake in Morocco, but much more is needed. We'll tell you about the countries sending help.

NOBILO: And deadly clashes erupt at a Palestinian refugee camp in Lebanon. That story and much more when we come back.



NOBILO: Welcome back to CNN NEWSROOM. I'm Bianca Nobilo.

FOSTER: And I'm Max Foster.

NOBILO: Morocco's government and some volunteers are handing out desperately needed supplies after Friday's powerful earthquake, but the Kingdom has now formally accepted aid from four countries after weighing its needs. Many more have offered assistance and Morocco says that it could ask for additional help as the situation on the ground continues to unfold. CNN's Michael Holmes has more.


MICHAEL HOLMES, CNN ANCHOR AND CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): More boots on the ground. A Spanish search and rescue team arrives in Marrakesh to assist with relief operations in Morocco. The help coming just in time as rescuers face blocked roads and mountainous terrain as they search for survivors in some of the country's hard to reach villages.

But this specialized unit of Spain's armed forces has faced challenges like this before, having deployed in previous disaster zones like Turkey, Nepal, and Haiti. The Spanish defense ministry says the team has four dogs with them, as well as tools that can cut through concrete. All things Morocco needs as rescuers push deeper into the remote areas of the Atlas Mountains.

Many countries have sent offers of help and so far, Morocco has accepted assistance from some after what it says is careful assessment of its needs. On Sunday, the Moroccan king thanked Spain, Qatar, the UAE, and the U.K. for their support, which is beginning to funnel into the country.

In Qatar, shipments of emergency vehicles were loaded on a transport plane bound for the quake zone. The Gulf nation also sending pallets of supplies and rescue personnel to the region.

Help is also on the way from the U.K., with 60 search and rescue specialists joining the efforts.


The Tunisian government says it's also sending reinforcements, who stood with bags packed and ready to leave as the country's interior affairs minister wished them luck in what will likely be difficult work ahead.

KAMEL AL-FEKI, TUNISIAN INTERIOR AFFAIRS MINISTER (through translator): God willing, we will be proficient as expected. We will do our best, standing alongside those who will also participate in the search and rescue in the Moroccan regions affected by the earthquake.

HOLMES (voice-over): Some food and water is already reaching some hard-hit areas, these supplies organized by the Moroccan government and civil society organizations. Other essential items are being collected outside grocery stores in Marrakesh by volunteers.

ABDELTIF RAZOUKI, VICE PRESIDENT, DRAW SMILE (through translator): I think the food supplies collected today should be able to sustain at least 100 families for a week, covering all their food needs.

HOLMES (voice-over): Needs that are likely to continue in the coming days, weeks, and months as Morocco faces a long road to recovery.

Michael Holmes, CNN.