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Hungary Clamps Down on Migrant Crossings; Germany, Austria Call for E.U. Migrant Summit; North Korea Ready to Use Nuclear Weapons; Russia Trying to Set Up Base in Syria; Mexican Foreign Minister Travels to Cairo after Deadly Airstrike; Abbott Out after Two Years as Australian Prime Minister; Trump Rallies in Dallas, Leads Republican Polls; CNN Republican Debate Set for Wednesday Night; Flash Floods Kill Eight People in Utah Town; California Wildfires Destroy Hundreds of Homes; Dead Celebrities Returning as Holograms. Aired 10-11a ET

Aired September 15, 2015 - 10:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


[10:00:00]

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PAULA NEWTON, CNN HOST: Welcome to the INTERNATIONAL DESK. I'm Paula Newton at CNN Center.

A swell of migrants is now amassing at the Hungarian-Serbian border, blocked by new border controls and a razor wire fence. The refugee crisis

gripping Europe is our top story at this hour.

Hungary has plugged all but two entry points in an attempt to stem the unprecedented flow of people trying to get to Germany and beyond. Migrants

on the Serbian side of the fence are demanding to be let through.

Anyone caught trying to cross illegally faces up to three years in prison. Our Ben Wedeman joins us now from the Serbian side of the border.

Ben, you've been on the move there in that border region.

Can you bring us up to date on what's going on?

BEN WEDEMAN, CNN SR. INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes. Right now we're on the Serbian side. And here we have refugees, migrants, who are

sort of spread around here, waiting to go across. But, of course, they're not being let across.

As of last night the Hungarian authorities have essentially closed all of these borders. And so they're waiting. Anybody who you speak to here

will tell you that they don't want to stop in Hungary. Their desire is to move on to Austria, to Germany.

But, of course, they've come this far and they want to go even further. Now, here for instance, here's a young man from Anbar province in

Iraq. He came all the way in a wheelbarrow pushed by his friend. I'm just going to ask him where do you want to go.

(Speaking foreign language).

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (Speaking foreign language)

WEDEMAN: OK. He wants to go to Germany to be treated in a hospital for his condition.

So clearly these people are desperate. They have come a very long way, made a very dangerous journey and now they want to go on. But they

can't get through Hungary at this point. Essentially all the borders are closed, especially for them.

And certainly, last night, this new law came into effect, whereby anybody who tries to illegally cross the border can be arrested and charged

and sentenced up to three years in prison. We understand from the Hungarian authorities that already today they've arrested 60 people, who

are now facing criminal charges for illegally entering the country -- Paula.

NEWTON: Yes. Quite a situation there on that border. We're now hearing from Hungarian authorities that perhaps they may erect the same

kind of fence on the Romanian border. Ben, the practical effect on the ground for the people still streaming through, Serbia has already raised

concerns that they can't handle the flow if they end up being stalled there.

Where does everyone see this going at the moment?

WEDEMAN: Well, that's the question nobody seems to be able to answer. Certainly European officials haven't been able to come to an agreement. We

understand that there may be an emergency summit to deal with this crisis.

But, for instance, if you look at the situation in Serbia, one senior government minister said, look, Hungary can't treat these people; just send

them back to Serbia. Serbia says it's not a concentration camp, that these migrants, the refugees aren't criminals and they can't simply be forced

back into Serbia.

But of course you have this flow of people coming from as far as Afghanistan. I just spoke to two people from Kabul. They can't go back

and their determination is to go forward.

I spoke with one young man near one of the border fences. He said he's willing to stay here for five years if he has to. But he's going to

go forward.

And of course, keep in mind that, to get this far, so many of them have essentially sold everything they have. They've spent all the money

they have to get here. And certainly their attitude is we're not going back.

Now, here it looks like some local aid organization is going to be handing out food or water to these refugees. But this is just a microcosm

of what's going on along the border between Serbia and Hungary -- Paula.

NEWTON: Yes, Ben, a lot of that being repeated along the side of the border. We should say that the Red Cross is reporting that they see

thousands now already stuck in that no man's land. Our Ben Wedeman there. Appreciate it.

We now go to the leaders of Germany and Austria, who are calling for an emergency summit on the refugee crisis, just one day after E.U.

ministers met in Brussels. We want to bring in our Atika Shubert. She joins us now from Berlin.

Atika, in terms of trying to follow the press conference that Angela Merkel just had, she's as flustered as anyone has ever seen her. That

doesn't mean that --

(LAUGHTER)

NEWTON: -- that's all too excited for Angela Merkel. She was trying to be very direct and just saying, look --

[10:05:00]

NEWTON: -- the kinds of things going on in Hungary that these threats will not get us to a solution.

What is she getting at?

Does she think that there actually could be a negotiated solution next week?

ATIKA SHUBERT, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I think the reality is Germany is saying there doesn't seem to be a solution now. We have to have one as

soon as possible. They can't wait a few weeks, a few months, a few years down the line.

To quote Chancellor Faymann from Austria, who is there, he said we can't be ostriches with our heads in the sand. What that essentially means

is that we're seeing tens of thousands of people coming across to Europe really every day.

And it's not going to stop, whether it's a razor wire fence or some other sort of barrier that's attempting to prevent them. They'll simply

find another way across as they have been doing for years. It's just reached this proportion now.

So what Merkel is saying and what Chancellor Faymann (INAUDIBLE) had this emergency summit to deal with the issue, to get hot spots -- is what -

- it's the term that they're using. And that means essentially reception centers to identify, to register refugees as soon as possible and then to

find a legal way to bring refugees to the countries that are offering them asylum.

Now, the problem here is that countries like Hungary say those hot spots should be in Lebanon, in Jordan or Turkey, those neighboring

countries to where the conflict is. The reality is, there are already hot spots there. They're called refugee camps. There are millions of people

already there.

The problem is they're overflowing to the point now where people are coming to Europe. So what Germany and Austria are saying is why don't we

have reception centers in Greece, Spain, Italy, Hungary, those frontier countries where they're already showing up -- Paula.

NEWTON: Yes. There is definitely a better way to organize this, many people are pointing out. At least there is a summit scheduled hopefully

for next week. Our Atika Shubert will continue to follow that for us.

We turn now to Asia, where a display of verbal belligerence from North Korea is rattling the region. It says it's ready to use nuclear weapons

against the U.S. and other enemies if they pursue, quote, "reckless hostile policy" toward Pyongyang. We want to get more on the story now from our

Kathy Novak in Seoul.

Kathy, considering what's gone on between North Korea and South Korea in the last few weeks they definitely had quite a serious political dustup.

That was resolved.

What's at stake now with North Korea again rattling nerves there in Asia?

KATHY NOVAK, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, there was this period of calm following those tensions that you mentioned, Paul. We saw that exchange of

fire across the border between north and South Korea, the holding of very high-level talks. It seemed to be able to defuse the tensions.

But what we see now is we're looking forward now towards the 70th anniversary that North Korea is planning to mark of the founding of its

Workers Party. That's taking place on October 10th and many have been speculating that, to mark this event, Kim Jong-un would be planning some

kind of provocative act, perhaps a nuclear test, perhaps a missile launch.

And now we are hearing this out of KCNA, the state news agency today. First on the nuclear issue, it says that it has restarted its operations at

the Yongbyon nuclear complex. That's the place that has the ability to enrich uranium, to produce plutonium.

Back in 2013 when tensions were last escalating, North Korea was promising to restart that nuclear complex. And in a separate article on

KCNA, North Korea was also saying that it is in the final phase of developing a satellite. Now a satellite launch would be widely interpreted

as a test of ballistic missile technology, the kind of technology that North Korea would need to deliver the nuclear weapons that it says it has

been developing.

Now, I spoke to the U.S. ambassador to South Korea Mark Lippert today about the suggestion that North Korea may be preparing for a rocket launch.

And this is what he had to say about the U.S. preparations for that.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MARK LIPPERT, U.S. AMBASSADOR TO SOUTH KOREA: We've moved over time a good deal of missile defense capabilities to the region, ground-based

interceptors to Alaska, surface combatants to the Western Pacific, aFAD battery on Guam and other radar in Japan in order to be ready and vigilant

for anything that the North Koreans may or may not do.

NOVAK: North Korea does say that a satellite launch would be for peaceful purposes.

Do you believe it could be anything but a veiled test of ballistic missile technology?

LIPPERT: Well, past practice has shown that the North has consistently violated United Nations Security Council resolutions,

international norms and conducted ballistic missile launches that have brought widespread condemnation from the international community.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

NOVAK: Of course always very difficult to verify if --

[10:10:00]

NOVAK: -- any claims coming out of North Korea are true. But there are threats that are taken seriously by both the United States and South

Korea -- Paula.

NEWTON: Our Kathy Novak there for us in Seoul. We appreciate it.

You are at the INTERNATIONAL DESK. Still ahead, the U.S. says it's been closely watching Russia's military moves in Syria. So far it doesn't

like what it sees.

And Mexico wants answers after Egypt mistakenly bombed a convoy of Mexican tourists. Our reporter is live in Cairo. All that and more right

here at the INTERNATIONAL DESK.

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NEWTON: The United States is raising new alarms about Russian military activity in Syria. The Pentagon says these satellite images taken

this early month suggest Russia is trying to establish a forward operating base in Western Syria.

The images are from Stratfor, a geopolitical intelligence and advisory firm based in the U.S. The U.S. meantime says they show early construction

on a Russian base near Latakia that may be used to assist Syrian president Bashar al-Assad in the country's ongoing civil war.

Meantime, our Pentagon correspondent Barbara Starr has been monitoring developments from Washington.

But first we want to go to our senior international correspondent, Nick Paton Walsh, who is with us from Beirut.

Nick, when you look at this situation, why is Russia doing this now and what impact could it have there on the ground in Syria?

NICK PATON WALSH, CNN SR. INTL. CORRESPONDENT: Well, for a start, Russia has had a long-term relationship with the Assad regime, advisers

there for some time. But this is different because it is an uptick in the amount of materiel, the kind of construction they're doing there.

And it comes at a very bad time for the Assad regime -- a good time, in fact, you might say, this uptick in Russian assistance.

Assad has been on his back foot for a long time now, desperately in need of assistance. Hezbollah, who assisted, Iran who assisted, there's

reports there increasingly tired, lacking the resources to continually prop up the Assad regime.

And lo and behold, in come Russia. Now at this stage we're not talking about ground troops, reports suggesting that this runway could be

being used to get more cargo planes in.

But Latakia, where it is, is under great pressure from its north from a pretty successful and organized group of partially Islamists, including

flavors of Al Qaeda in their mixed group of rebels, who have been pushing on it for quite some time.

Putting in this base there allows the faster resupply of better equipment, which the Assad regime is running out of. And potentially, in

the future, some are arguing, maybe Russian jets could take off piloted by Syrians or even piloted by Russians. That's speculation at this stage.

But it's a substantial bit of infrastructure, which kind of removes doubt in the future whether or not Russia are willing to pour in arms, whether or

not Syria can afford them.

[10:15:00]

WALSH: Remember, if Iran's bank accounts are increasingly released in the new sanctions being lifted during the nuclear deal, Syria could see an

influx of money that it could use to buy Russian weaponry. So Putin very much strategically positioning this base at a particular time, too. The

West's strategy over ISIS in disarray, frankly; perhaps he's moving in to say we're purposeful, we're on the ground and we're backing Assad until the

end -- Paula.

NEWTON: All right, Nick. Thank you for that perspective.

We now go to our Barbara Starr, who's at the Pentagon.

Barbara, Obama has said that everything Nick just described that the Russians may be doing is doomed to fail.

But what is the likelihood that the administration would do anything about this or can do anything about it?

BARBARA STARR, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: Well, I think, Paula, that's exactly what's being discussed at the highest levels of the Obama

administration. And there's no ready answers to that question. It's a real dilemma.

They don't want the Russians to -- the U.S. does not want the Russians to go into Syria because it's viewed by the United States as simply

propping up Assad.

But Russia making more and more of an effort to put some real military capability into there.

Now U.S. officials are saying they're seeing a handful of Russian T-90 tanks, of Russian artillery pieces, Russian armored personnel carriers, the

beginning of the possibility of a mobile armored Russian force, very lethal, able to move very quickly.

If aircraft go in, if Russian fighter jets go in, how do they deconflict in that airspace with the U.S. jets flying over Syria?

So this becomes a real problem.

What do you do about it?

A lot of language, a lot of rhetoric but it may not -- just like we saw with the U.S. efforts to stop the Russians in Crimea, not clear that

much can really be done about it.

NEWTON: Yes. It's interesting to point out a minority of commentators in the United States and also in Russia are saying, look,

maybe nothing should be done about it because Russia could help in battling ISIS, a debate that will continue there in the Middle East and, of course,

at the White House.

Our thanks to Nick Paton Walsh in Beirut and our Barbara Starr at the Pentagon.

Now, Mexico's foreign minister has traveled to Cairo to demand answers from the Egyptian government. On Sunday, an airstrike targeting terrorists

hit a group of Mexican tourists instead in the Western Desert. Two Mexican nationals were killed in the attack. Six remain missing.

Our Ian Lee joins me now with all the details from Cairo.

Ian, a lot of confusion still. If we just get to what is crucial at this point, they have confirmed that two Mexican nationals have died.

What about the six that are unaccounted for?

IAN LEE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Really, there has been a slow trickle of information from the Egyptian government. A lot of what we had initially

came from the Mexican side.

But what we're hearing actually this hour is from the ministry of interior here in Cairo, saying that eight foreigners have been killed in

this attack. Now, they wouldn't specify the nationality of the foreigners, but it's likely to assume that these are Mexican nationals that were killed

in the attack.

They said seven other Mexican nationals were injured -- foreigners, rather, were injured, again, assuming that these are the Mexicans that were

caught up in this attack.

But the Egyptian government has come under a lot of criticism over handling this incident. First, they came out and said that these tourists

were in the Western Desert, that they did not have the proper credentials. They didn't have any credentials at all.

Well, today they've backtracked on that a bit and said, well, they have had the credentials, the permits, but they didn't have them filled out

properly.

In the meantime, we're hearing from the colleagues and as well as the tourism guides union that said, in fact, they did have the permits. They

were there. The authorities knew that they were traveling in this area and that it's the authorities who made the mistake.

So a lot of different narratives really trying to piece together what exactly happened.

NEWTON: Ian, still a lot of confusion as well. Obviously, a lot of grief for relatives in Mexico in terms of the identity of these foreigners.

I mean, any indication from Egypt at all that they know what might have happened, if they're at the point where they can identify concretely

who these six other foreign nationals are?

LEE: Well, the Egyptian government isn't really known for giving many details and really what we heard, how we found out what happened, the

details came from the survivors interviewed by the Mexican government and what they said is that they were hit by multiple airstrikes in their

convoy. And this is --

[10:20:00]

LEE: -- the one real big criticisms of the Egyptian government and the army is that they didn't verify this target before they attacked it. A

lot of people said that if they would have looked at who these people were -- they were pulled off to the side of the road, having a picnic during the

time of the attack.

Yes, the Egyptian government says they were chasing militants in the area at the time. But the criticism is that, even if they try to verify

who these people were, that this tragedy could have been avoided.

And now we have the foreign minister, who is in Cairo, like you said, trying to get to the bottom of what exactly happened and how this could

have happened.

NEWTON: Yes. Trying to get some answers especially for those families. Ian Lee there, live from Cairo.

You're at the INTERNATIONAL DESK. Still to come, setting the stage for the CNN Republican debate Wednesday. We'll look at potential

strategies for dealing with front-runner the Donald and who has the most to win and lose.

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NEWTON: Tony Abbott is out and Malcolm Turnbull is in. The millionaire businessman turned politician is Australia's new prime

minister.

Mr. Turnbull took the oath of office in Canberra; the former tech entrepreneur is seen as more moderate than his conservative predecessor,

who lost the leadership challenge Monday.

Abbott served two years as Australia's prime minister. On the way out, he criticized the way the media covered his administration. Here is

what he had to say as his time in office came to an end.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TONY ABBOTT, FORMER AUSTRALIAN PRIME MINISTER: But, yes, I am proud of what the Abbott government has achieved. We stayed focused, despite the

wide ending.

Of course, the government wasn't perfect. We have been a government of men and women, not a government of gods walking upon the Earth. Few of

us, after all, entirely measure up to expectations.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

NEWTON: Malcolm Turnbull is Australia's fifth prime minister in eight years.

Hundreds of protesters meantime rallied outside the Trump event. They marched from a nearby church to the venue where Trump was speaking in

Dallas.

Now one protest organizer called Trump a clown and several people made pinatas of the presidential hopeful.

CNN senior Washington correspondent Jeff Zeleny has more on Trump's day.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

DONALD TRUMP, ENTREPRENEUR: I'm your candidate, OK?

JEFF ZELENY, CNN SR. WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Donald Trump, not only on top but on fire.

TRUMP: I'm surging more than anybody.

ZELENY (voice-over): As he rallies thousands of supporters in Dallas, new polls show him still driving the Republican race. Trump and Ben Carson

towering over the GOP field, seizing more than half of the Republican vote in a new "Washington Post" ABC News poll, Trump winning four times as much

support as Jeb Bush.

It means Trump is wearing the biggest bull's-eye at Wednesday's CNN debate.

TRUMP: I'll be attacked. I guess I'm going into a lion's den.

ZELENY (voice-over): But warning signs for the front-runner. Overall six in 10 voters say Trump is not qualified. Among Hispanic voters, 70

percent hold negative views of him; 60 percent, very negative.

TRUMP: By substantial numbers --

ZELENY (voice-over): Still, Trump is head and shoulders above his rivals in --

[10:25:00]

ZELENY (voice-over): -- in the primary state of New Hampshire. A new Monmouth University poll today showed Trump at 28 percent, followed by Ben

Carson and John Kasich in third.

Everyone is trying to bring Trump down to size.

CARLY FIORINA (R), CALIF.: It is not about how big your office is or how big your plane or your helicopter or your ego. Leadership is about

service.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

FIORINA (voice-over): Look at this face.

ZELENY (voice-over): Carly Fiorina's super PAC is out with a new web ad, trying to use Trump's words against him, after he made a derisive

comment about her face.

FIORINA: This is the face of a 61-year-old woman. I am proud of every year and every wrinkle.

ZELENY (voice-over): Trump's campaign manager firing back against super PACs, not the substance of the original attack from his boss.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is the problem with the dark money that's involved in politics right now. We know Jeb Bush has $100 million sitting

in a super PAC. I'm sure the vast majority of that is going to go and come after Mr. Trump because Jeb Bush is now at, you know, 8 percent in the

polls over last -- in the last poll.

JEB BUSH, FORMER GOVERNOR OF FLORIDA: I'm working hard and I get the chance to --

ZELENY (voice-over): Not just Jeb Bush; he and much of the Republican field crowded at the bottom of the polls in single digits, hoping to break

out on Wednesday night.

ZELENY: So many of these Republican candidates are trying to use this debate to jump start their own candidacies. They're doing their own

strategies to go after the front-runner, Donald Trump. But it's a perilous task.

Should they go after him forcefully or should they let him try and implode on his own?

That's what Republican leaders believe and hope he will do ultimately. But there is no sign of that. He is leading this race, the front-runner.

He'll be center stage on Wednesday night -- Jeff Zeleny CNN, Simi Valley, California.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

NEWTON: The Republicans have been saying for quite some time he would implode on his own. That is why you want to make sure to join us Wednesday

night for the Republican presidential debates. It all starts at 11 o'clock in London, midnight in Berlin.

And if that's too late for you, we will replay the entire debate on the following night here on CNN International. Look for that at 8:00 pm in

London, 9:00 pm Central European time.

Flash floods ravage a small border town in the Western U.S. Our correspondents on the scene in Hildale, Utah. That's up next.

And from floods to fire, people return to a devastating scene after a wildfire rips through a California town.

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[10:30:00]

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NEWTON: Welcome to the INTERNATIONAL DESK. I'm Paula Newton. And here are your top headlines.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

NEWTON (voice-over): Thousands of migrants are trying to cross into Hungary after the government closed nearly all entry points from Serbia.

Refugees face up to three years in prison if they attempt to break through a newly completed razor wire fence along the border.

Hungary now plans to extend that fence along the Romanian border.

North Korea warns it's ready to use nuclear weapons to deal with any U.S. hostility and it says its main nuclear facility is now fully

operational. The threat comes as North Korea gets ready for a satellite launch. Such launches are prohibited by U.N. Security Council resolutions.

And a dramatic rescue plays out in a small Western town in the U.S.; flash floods washed away two vehicles, carrying 16 people. Eight of them

died. Heavy rains in the canyon above Hildale, Utah, triggered those flash floods.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

NEWTON: Now, most of the dead were members of a polygamist sect known as the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. Kyung

Lah joins us now live from Hildale, Utah, near the border with Arizona.

Kyung, I've been watching you report from there for many hours. The pictures were riveting and terrifying in terms of what these families went

through to try and save lives.

KYUNG LAH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Especially terrifying when you think just 30 minutes before they were swept away, they were standing in the

sunshine. That is the power of a flash flood. Conditions change that quickly.

I want to show you what's happening. I'm actually on the Arizona side of this community about an hour -- about a mile downstream from where the

families were swept away.

What you can see over my right shoulder is this area, all this muck that's being cleared out by the heavy machinery, this river that you're

looking at, that used to have a road on it. The flash flood completely washed that away. You can see all the mud stretching back behind it.

The road continues on. And then over to the right in that pathway, as this heavy machine goes by, you can see that there's some search and rescue

teams going out on foot, as well as family members standing there behind them.

They are looking at that debris, hoping and praying that there's going to be some word about the missing.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is the front yard.

LAH (voice-over): Dramatic video this morning showing a massive and deadly flash flood ripping through a small town on the Arizona-Utah border.

You can hear the screams from shocked residents stunned by the rushing water.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Whoa!

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What's happening right now?

LAH (voice-over): Heavy rain falling in the mountains above the canyon town earlier in the day caused the river to rise rapidly, catching

onlookers off guard.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Whoa, it's starting to flood.

LAH (voice-over): Watch this video of rescue crews racing to save a family from a car moments from being swept away.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They're getting everybody out.

LAH (voice-over): Children pulled quickly from the car windows. The flood so strong, trees uprooted by the current pileup.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That's pretty powerful.

LAH (voice-over): A search is still underway for several people after two vehicles carried a total of 16, parked to watch the flood, were swept

away by the intense rush of water.

At least eight have been found dead, all of the victims mothers and small children, the youngest just 4 years old.

PHILIP BARLOW, HILDALE, UTAH, MAYOR: There's still active flood waters and very dangerous, very treacherous. The banks are caving off.

More significant flood than we've had for quite some time.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

LAH: And the weather is not expected to help out matters any today. We are expected to get more rain here.

Paula, just to give you an idea of the five people they're looking for, I did manage to speak to a relative of the missing. She said that it

is a mother, three children, as well as a cousin -- Paula.

NEWTON: Absolutely sad. We continue to pray that that community is able to come to terms with that tragedy. Kyung Lah there now on the

Arizona side of that disaster.

Thousands of firefighters are battling wildfires raging in Northern California. The fast-moving fires have now destroyed hundreds of homes and

displaced thousands of people. CNN's Stephanie Elam reports.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I want to say 20, 25 homes, from what I understand, that are gone.

STEPHANIE ELAM, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It's one thing to hear your neighborhood was burned down by a wildfire.

TAMMY MOORE, VALLEY FIRE VICTIM: My house is up here to the left. Or was.

[10:35:00]

ELAM (voice-over): It's another thing to see it.

MOORE: There's nothing there.

ELAM (voice-over): Tammy Moore was working Saturday night when the Valley Fire exploded, devastating the communities of Middletown and Cobb.

The people in these small, rural towns had to scramble to get out safely.

Moore has owned this home for 15 years. It's where she and her ex- husband chose to raise their daughter, the burnt-out swing a totem to years gone by.

What is it like to actually see with your own eyes?

MOORE: It's so much worse than I thought. Even though I expected it to be bad, I didn't expect to see everything gone.

I wouldn't want to come back. I don't want to rebuild here. After seeing everything like this, maybe other people would feel differently. I

don't. I feel like this is -- there should be, like, a zombie coming out from the tree.

ELAM: What comes next?

MOORE: What's next? I don't know. Tomorrow.

ELAM (voice-over): The fire didn't discriminate, taking out home after home, car after car. But yet it was still selective, in Middletown,

sparing a fence here, a handcrafted wooded chair there.

ELAM: Which one is your house?

BRANDON DAWSON, VALLEY FIRE VICTIM: That one. I just built that fence right here.

Oh, my God.

ELAM (voice-over): Brandon Dawson's mother bought this home 23 years ago when he was just 6 years old. He and his family had warning that the

flames were coming and so they grabbed as many personal items as they could.

But there were still some things that just didn't fit in their cars. Dawson's mother hoped this cast iron tub would protect a few more memories.

She put the trunk in there and covered it with wet blankets and tried to hope for the best. And not looking good.

ELAM: I know you saw a picture. I know you saw it on TV, but to actually stand here now?

DAWSON: I'm devastated.

ELAM (voice-over): And yet the Valley Fire spared one keepsake, a sign over the front entrance that reads, "This is where I belong."

DAWSON: When we come home, this is our sanctuary.

ELAM: You're going to take that to your mom?

DAWSON: I'm totally taking this with me.

ELAM: Both Tammy and Brandon are staying at the fairgrounds with their families. It's basically a tent city. Lots of people who have been

evacuated, many of whom have lost their homes, are staying there until they can figure out what their next moves are going to be -- Stephanie Elam,

CNN, Middletown, California.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

NEWTON: Now the Indonesian government is battling its own outbreak of forest fires. Thousands of troops have been sent to the hardest hit

provinces. The smoke from the fires is so thick, it has shut down schools in neighboring Malaysia and sent a haze across Singapore. Government

officials say the fires were illegally set by people who were clearing land for farming.

The INTERNATIONAL DESK will return with more news in a moment.

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NEWTON: Whitney Houston is gone, but the singer is far from forgotten. And her hologram will go on a concert tour next year. As

Jeanne Moos reports, you might see the special effect extend to the political arena, too.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

(MUSIC PLAYING)

JEANNE MOOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The next time Whitney Houston opens her mouth on stage, she may be a hologram on a world tour.

And she --

[10:40:00]

MOOS (voice-over): -- may not be the only celeb making America holographic again.

Remember the Michael Jackson hologram on last year's Billboard awards?

Or the Tupac hologram from the Coachella music festival?

Well, now it's Whitney's turn to return to the stage.

CEO, HOLOGRAM USA: And at the center of it is going to be holographic presentation of Whitney in her various famous outfits, her famous songs,

interacting.

MOOS (voice-over): The CEO of Hologram USA says Whitney will look real enough to almost touch.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You should let her rest in peace.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Creepy.

CEO: It's not creepy. It's entertainment. It's fantastic entertainment.

MOOS (voice-over): Whitney Houston's estate, led by her sister-in- law, Pat, gave the hologram tour its blessing.

MOOS: But you don't have to be dead to be turned into a hologram.

MOOS (voice-over): Here at CNN we've had our share from an Election Night correspondent to the performer will.i.am.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm being beamed to you like in "Star Wars" and stuff.

MOOS: Now who else could you turn into a hologram who might even Trump Whitney Houston?

CEO: We are in talks with a very likely candidate for the presidency.

MOOS: Oh, my God, you're going to project Donald Trump all over the place?

CEO: I never said that.

MOOS: You are. You're going to project Donald Trump.

CEO: I never, ever, said that.

MOOS: Who else would allow themselves to do that?

MOOS (voice-over): If a deal is signed, they would use a technique called telepresence to project a candidate live to multiple locations.

CEO: Donald, I never said a word.

MOOS (voice-over): Asked if Trump is interested, a campaign spokeswoman said, no, but it sure would be fun to see a reality star turn

virtual reality -- Jeanne Moos, CNN --

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Donald Trump is a hologram.

MOOS (voice-over): -- New York.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

NEWTON: And that does it for us here at the INTERNATIONAL DESK. I'm Paula Newton. Don't go anywhere. "WORLD SPORT" with Amanda Davies is

straight ahead.

END