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Idalia Now A Hurricane, Landfall Tomorrow In Florida; Secretary of Commerce In Beijing For Second Day Of Trade Talks; Spanish Football Federation Regional Leaders Call For Luis Rubiales To Resign. Aired 5:30-6a ET

Aired August 29, 2023 - 05:30   ET




OMAR JIMENEZ, CNN ANCHOR: Breaking news this morning. Idalia is now a category one hurricane and may well be a category three by Wednesday as it heads for Florida's Big Bend. Here's the first video of the effects of Idalia flooding in Cuba. Some streets swamped by the storm and it could be a sign of things to come.

Let's go to meteorologist Karen Maginnis. I mean, Karen, this storm has been building over the past 24 hours. What are we looking at in the next 24?

KAREN MAGINNIS, AMS METEOROLOGIST: It appears that we'll see some rapid strengthening, which is not good because that spells a longer period of time that we will see hurricane-like conditions along this west coast of Florida -- these much more populated areas rather than the Big Bend area.

But just to catch our viewers up, right now, 75 mile an hour winds. So it's a minimal hurricane but that's not going to be lasting for very long. It's moving towards the north. Most of the deep convection here is now over the open waters of the Gulf of Mexico. That will only aid in its continuance of developing into a category two and eventually, a category three. A category three is considered a major hurricane.


All right. From Tampa and Sarasota we might see a storm surge of four to seven feet. The National Hurricane Center says there could be substantial, significant damage due to this inundation of water coming up from the ocean.

This is a beautiful part of the country and very vulnerable to damage from hurricanes. We saw that with Ian just about a year ago on Sanibel Island. It's still struggling to get things back together there. Still beautiful beaches but it has been a problem.

It appears as if across this Bend area where there are mostly wildlife management areas and estuaries that appears to be the target area for landfall. Landfall meaning that the eye crosses the coastline here. But it's going to do more damage than just making landfall somewhere

in a rather unpopulated area. For Tampa, for Marco Island, for Naples, for Cape Coral, extending up towards Clearwater and St. Pete -- you're looking at a storm surge here. And the closer you get to that system the storm surge is going to be much more significant.

On top of that, we're looking at rainfall. Some of these rainfall totals could be upwards of about 10 or 12 inches. Some common amounts may be five to 10 inches.

But not just in Florida. Now it looks like it's going to pump that moisture into the Panhandle region and also into central and southern Georgia, eventually making its way into the midlands and upstate of South Carolina -- Charleston, Savannah, Brunswick.

We've got a lot of information to give you at the top of the hour. We'll have some more information from our other meteorologists in the field. Back to you.

JIMENEZ: Karen Maginnis, thank you. We'll stay close to you for updates.

Heightened security around a Saint Petersburg cemetery this morning amid speculation that Wagner chief Yevgeny Prigozhin will be laid to rest at that cemetery overnight. The Kremlin confirmed that there are no plans for Russian President Putin to attend. Prigozhin died in a plane crash last week, the details of which are still unknown.

CNN's Matthew Chance speaks to Russians about the legacy he left behind from the bulldozed site where he died.


MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Don't expect to see these scenes on Russian state television. When it comes to the Wagner leader who challenged the Kremlin then died in a plane crash there's a virtual media blackout on public grief. And Wagner supporters, like Dmitry in Moscow, are simply not being heard.

DMITRY: (Speaking foreign language).

CHANCE (voice-over): "Yevgeny Prigozhin's death," he says, "just confirms that there are fewer and fewer of us who really think about our country, our history, and our goals. Prigozhin really showed everyone how it should be done," he adds.

MARIA: (Speaking foreign language).

CHANCE (voice-over): "Wagner did a great job," says Maria, "and they are heroes of our country. But, of course, everyone makes mistakes," she explains.

But in Russia, some mistakes can be fatal. The Kremlin is slammed as absolute lies -- allegations Prigozhin was killed for leading this aborted military uprising in June.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (Speaking foreign language).

CHANCE (voice-over): But the fact his plane plunged to the ground two months after, to the day, has fueled suspicions.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: (Speaking foreign language).

CHANCE (voice-over): Many doubt the official investigation would ever reveal state involvement.

Already, there are concerns of how quickly and carelessly evidence has been dragged from the crash scene. When CNN visited Monday morning it had already been flattened and cleared. Just a small memorial to mark the spot. But the memory of the Wagner leader may not be so easily erased.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (Speaking foreign language).

CHANCE (voice-over): "All of us are angry at what happened," says this former military officer now running for political office in the Russian Far East. "We all considered Prigozhin our primary commander in the special military operation," he told crowds of mourners.

The Kremlin may not like it but even in death Russia's mercenary leader continues to strike a chord.

Matthew Chance, CNN, Moscow.


JIMENEZ: The secretary of Commerce begins a second day of talks in Beijing this morning -- the latest step toward calming tensions between the two biggest world economies. Gina Raimondo says they've agreed to exchange information about export control policies and advanced technology as a pathway to rebuilding connections.


CNN's Steven Jiang joins us live from Beijing. So, Steven, this comes after those U.S. restrictions last year on China-bound exports of advanced semiconductors and equipment. But what do these latest steps mean for these two countries moving forward?

STEVEN JIANG, CNN BEIJING BUREAU CHIEF: Yes, Omar. This means now they have a new platform that will allow U.S. officials to explain their export control decisions to their Chinese counterparts. And this first such meeting actually taking place today at the Chinese Commerce Ministry.

But the new mechanism itself very much pointing to the contradictory nature of Sec. Raimondo's mission during this visit because obviously, she's here to stabilize economic ties. But on the other hand, her own agency, the Commerce Department, as you mentioned, has been posing a growing number of export controls targeting China and really angering the Beijing leadership, including President Xi Jinping himself.

Now, the secretary, of course, has been trying to tell Chinese officials that these export controls out of national security concerns account for only one percent of America's exports to China, so there's still a lot of room for cooperation and for growth. But that argument may not be very convincing to many Chinese officials here who simply don't see any difference between de-risking Xi and other U.S. officials having emphasizing and decoupling.

Now, the secretary is focusing on a positive, meeting more senior Chinese officials on Tuesday, including the tourism minister in a bid to revive the once booming sector of outbound travel from China to the U.S. But the irony here is that one thing that's been helping her mission is the Chinese economy itself facing its strongest headwinds in decades, probably forcing Chinese officials to put on a more business-friendly face to work with her to stabilize this economic relationship -- Omar.

JIMENEZ: We'll see what comes out of this for the long term.

Steven Jiang, thank you so much.

Next, more fallout from that World Cup kiss. What the Spanish Football Federation president is now facing.



JIMENEZ: Spanish Football Federation president Luis Rubiales is facing more fallout over the World Cup kiss controversy. Now, regional leaders of the federation are calling on him to resign immediately for forcibly kissing player Jenni Hermoso on the lips. Rubiales was suspended on Saturday by World Football's governing body FIFA after claiming the kiss was mutual and consensual. Hermoso has said otherwise.

Atika Shubert joins us live from Madrid. Atika, what happens if Rubiales remains defiant as he has, so far, to this point?

ATIKA SHUBERT, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, there is a process to force him out, but it is a long and painstaking one. It involves a tribunal that will then have an investigation, and that could take much, much longer. And that is why the pressure is increasing on him for him to simply resign.


SHUBERT (voice-over): On the streets of Madrid tonight, demands for Spain's soccer president Luis Rubiales to get a so-called red card and face criminal prosecution for the infamous unwanted kiss the head of Spanish football planted on striker Jenni Hermoso after Spain won the Women's World Cup -- a kiss she says that was not consensual -- drawing support from her colleagues and much of the country.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I mean, I think we are all very angry at this because all women have suffered some kind of abuse. We -- like, the moment we saw the images we automatically thought about our bosses, our professors, our teachers in the school. SHUBERT (voice-over): Both sides are digging in. But now, days after FIFA provisionally suspended Rubiales from all football-related activities at national and international levels, Spanish prosecutors have opened a criminal investigation into a possible instance of, quote, "sexual aggression."

As protesters rallied in the streets, the Royal Spanish Football Federation called on Rubiales to resign after an emergency meeting, desperate to steer away out of the crisis and prevent it from affecting Spain's vaunted football teams from playing in international games.

In his hometown of Motril, Rubiales' family rallied at church. His mother apparently on a hunger strike to support her son.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: (Speaking foreign language).

SHUBERT (voice-over): "I think this massive lynching of an honest and loyal person is shameful," his cousin said. "I know him perfectly well and what he is going through is unfair."

The incident has become more than a national scandal. It is now a rallying cry both for supporters of women's rights and for those who feel threatened by their demands.


SHUBERT: The federation office behind me is where Rubiales made that defiant speech saying he would not resign. And when he did that he was applauded by many men in the room. But since then it seems the tide has turned and many of them in the federation have now demanded that it is time for him to go -- Oscar (sic).

JIMENEZ: Atika Shubert, thank you so much.

Coming up on "CNN THIS MORNING" -- it's just minutes away and they've got the breaking news -- as we have this morning. Idalia just became a hurricane headed right for Florida's bend. CNN is live on the ground.

And next, right here, there is tackling in baseball but Monday, I guess, was an exception? What happened when two fans tried to hug outfielder Ronald Acuna Jr. in the Bleacher Report, next.



JIMENEZ: Braves superstar Ronald Acuna Jr. ended up on the ground after two fans ran onto the field in Denver last night.

Andy Scholes has this morning's Bleacher Report. What happened here?

ANDY SCHOLES, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: Omar, we see dumb fans run on the field all the time, but rarely do we see them actually make contact with any players. But in the seventh inning, check this out. A fan ran out on the field

there in right field to try to take a selfie with Ronald Acuna Jr. Security gets on him pretty quickly, but he just holds on to Acuna. Then a second fan runs out and Acuna gets knocked down as security tries to take him down.

Now, Acuna was fine after everything, and here was his reaction to all of it afterwards.


RONALD ACUNA JR., ATLANTA BRAVES OUTFIELDER (through translator): I was a little scared at first but, you know, I think the fans were out there and asking for a picture but -- and security was able to get there. And so I think everything's OK -- everyone's OK.


BRIAN SNITKER, ATLANTA BRAVES MANAGER: You don't want to see that happen -- I know that -- because you don't know what those people -- you know, what they can do when they come out there. So it's a scary situation.


SCHOLES: Yes, it certainly was.

Now, Acuna went four for five with a home run and five RBIs in the game. He also stole two bases, giving him 61 on the year. Acuna, the first player ever to hit 29 home runs and steal at least 60 bases in a season.

All right, Monday was day one of the U.S. Open in New York. Former President Barack Obama and his wife Michelle were on hand to watch Coco Gauff. And the 19-year-old was not happy with how slow this match was going. Coco's opponent, 35-year-old Laura Siegemund, took her time between every point. The crowd was even getting frustrated. And Coco had enough by the third set.


COCO GAUFF, 5-TIME WTA TOUR SINGLES CHAMPION: (INAUDIBLE) when I'm serving. She went over the clock like four times. You gave her a time violation once. How is this fair?


GAUFF: No. You're calling the score like six seconds after the point. Not the first set -- every game -- second set -- everything. I didn't say nothing.


SCHOLES: Yeah, Coco telling that umpire speed this up. The broadcast even agreeing with Coco that Siegemund was playing painfully slow. After dropping the first set, Coco did rally to win the next two to take that match in two hours and 51 minutes. Afterwards, when asked to describe the match, Coco said simply, "slow."

Now, on the men's side, Novak Djokovic -- he's going to reclaim the world number one ranking after a quick first-round win. The 23-time Grand Slam winner made quick work of Frenchman Alexandre Muller, wrapping up the victory in just one hour and 34 minutes.

Djokovic not allowed to play in the U.S. Open last year because he was not vaccinated against COVID-19.

All right, and finally, Chicago icon Sister Jean taking the mound for the Cubs last night. Loyola Chicago's beloved team chaplain throwing out the first pitch just days after celebrating her 104th birthday. Still throwing strikes, Sister Jean. And this isn't the first time she threw out the first pitch at Wrigley. She also did the same thing for her 103rd birthday.

So, Omar, when you get that age I believe you should just be able to do whatever you want all the time. Will probably be a legend.

JIMENEZ: Props to Sister Jean. Wish I'd be a legend like her.

Andy Scholes, great to see you.

SCHOLES: All right.

JIMENEZ: That's all I've got for you all today. I'm Omar Jimenez.

But coming up on "CNN THIS MORNING," Idalia now a category one hurricane bearing down on Florida's bend. How the state is preparing for major impact.