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Packed Tourist Boat Sinks in Colombia; Deadly Tanker Explosion in Pakistan; 100 Still Missing in China Landslide; U.K. Government: 60 Apartment Towers Failed Fire Safety Checks President Trump Fighting Two Big Battles; Trump to Hold First Meeting with India's Prime Minister. Aired 12-1a ET

Aired June 26, 2017 - 00:00   ET



[00:00:09] NATALIE ALLEN, CNN ANCHOR: A packed tourist ferry capsizes in Colombia, killing at least six of its passengers with no one wearing a life jacket.

An oil tanker crashes in Pakistan and as people rush to gather spilled fuel, it explodes killing 140 people, injuring dozens.

And U.S. President Donald Trump is fighting two big political battles: repealing parts of Obamacare and a scandal over Russian election meddling.

It's all here on CNN NEWSROOM. Thank you for joining us. I'm Natalie Allen and begin right now.

And we begin in Colombia, rescuers there are combing the waters of a reservoir in the northwest part of the country looking for survivors of a tourist boat sinking. And that's video of people, other boats rushing to the scene. At least six people are confirmed dead, more than 30 others are said to be missing.

The boat was carrying 150 people near the popular tourist town of Guatape. It tilted from side to side before the lower deck started taking on water. One survivor says there were no life vests on board.

Here's one witness describing the scene.


LORENA SALAZAR, RESCUED SURVIVOR (through translator): We were boarding the ship -- well, we were close. And we saw it was going to turn. And when it was turning, it turned to the left side entirely. Only the boats near us helped us and they were throwing vests at us.

It was complete chaos. Everyone was screaming, praying -- we didn't know what to do. At that moment we didn't see anyone approaching us. They only came when they saw the ship was sinking.


ALLEN: Journalist Rafael Poveda is in the Colombian capital of Bogota and joins me now on the line.

Rafael -- any news about the 30 people who went missing?

RAFAEL POVEDA, JOURNALIST (via telephone): Now Natalie -- because Colombia rescue scuba divers are waiting for the sun to come up. The order to keep the search for more bodies inside the tourist boat that sank came hours ago in the Guatape reservoir. It is not in a (inaudible) -- dramatic video circulating on social media saw the forward deck ship rocking back and forth before it begins to sink.

Dozens of other boats and people on jet skis approached the vessel to try to rescue passengers avoiding an even deadlier tragedy because the boat had no life vests. According to government officials, at least 150 people were onboard taking advantage of the long holiday weekend here in Colombia.

Authorities believe that the death toll could rise since 28 people have been reported missing. Natalie -- it is unclear if any foreigners were on the vessel. An investigation is under way to determine the cause of the accident. Some of the passengers have stated that the boat was overloaded.

So a very sad story for Colombians; the president of Colombia went to the scene. He said that there are six people that are confirmed dead. Other news agencies are saying that nine people have died because of this accident -- Natalie?

ALLEN: It's dramatic video there, seeing it tilting back and forth before it goes down -- that had to be very scary for the people onboard. Is it -- has it been confirmed, Rafael, that there were no life jackets anywhere on that boat?

POVEDA: Well, this is what happens when you see these places where they have holidays and a lot of people go there. It doesn't matter if they have life vests. They don't force them to wear them.

So the information that we have is when they got into the boat, they were not given life vests. They were just talking, having fun. This is called the Sacred Heart of Jesus holiday. There were three holidays in this month. Monday, Monday, Monday, three Mondays; Saturdays, Sundays and Mondays and this is the second one so it is very popular.

It is summer here. So a lot of people don't go to school. A lot of people are on vacation. And Guatape is a very popular tourist destination. It's about an hour away from Medellin (ph), Medellin is the second city in Colombia, the largest -- second largest city so a lot of tourists go there, have fun, have a few drinks. And this is what happens because they do not force people to wear the life vests.

[00:05:02] ALLEN: Or at least tell them where they are on the boat hopefully. But we'll find out more. As you say, they'll be diving when the sun comes back up.

Rafael Poveda -- thank you. An investigation is under way into what caused a deadly tanker

explosion in eastern Pakistan. It happened Sunday morning in the town of Bahawalpur. At least 140 people were killed, dozens injured after the tanker truck veered off the road and then exploded as villagers gathered to collect fuel.

CNN's Linda Kincaid has more about it.


LINDA KINCAID, CNN CORRESPONDENT: What should be a time of celebration turned into a tragedy in eastern Pakistan. It happened just today before country's Eid al-fitr festival which marks the end of the fasting month of Ramadan.

A driver of a fuel tanker lost control of his truck. It veered off the road and began leaking fuel. 45 minutes later it exploded, killing and injuring hundreds of people.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: (Inaudible) a lot of villagers boarded their motorbikes and despite security officials trying to prevent them from going forward they went in with their (inaudible) cans, with their containers and tried to collect as much oil as they could to take back to their homes. It was then when they were actually quite close to the container itself that the explosion took place.

KINCAID: Officials say police had tried to clear people away from the crash site before the tanker exploded but dozens remained nearby. Many of the bodies burnt beyond recognition, nearby vehicles incinerated.

For survivors, many suffering from burns to 70 percent of their bodies, access to adequate medical care is crucial, near impossible to find with no burn center in Bahawalpur.

MAJ. GEN. AMJAD KHATTAK, PAKISTAN ARMY (through translator): Pakistan aviation helicopters have arrived. All those who are critically injured are being shifted from Bahawalpur to Multan (ph) and Kariyan (ph) burn centers.

KINCAID: A state of emergency has been declared in the city and the provincial government has promised an inquiry into the cause of this tragedy.

Linda Kincaid, CNN.


ALLEN: In China almost 100 people are still missing after a devastating landslide. The disaster struck a village in Sichuan Province Saturday, burying dozens of homes. Authorities say 10 bodies have been recovered. Thousands of rescuers have pored through debris looking for signs of life.

State media report a couple and their baby were pulled from the rubble. But even some officials admit finding more survivors will be difficult at this point. Authorities say a 2008 earthquake and recent rainfall led to the tragedy.

Our meteorologist Pedram Javaheri joins us now with more on the weather conditions. They certainly don't need more bad weather in the work that they're doing.

PEDRAM JAVAHERI, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Yes. You know, they're heading right into the wettest time of the year, too -- Natalie. So it's something really worth following the next couple of weeks.

But I want to touch on this because when you think about this setup that occurs you know, whether it be mining activities, human activities, or as you said an earthquake and that one was an 8.0 back in 2008. The amount of shaking involved with an 8.0 quake about 15 millions tons of TNT. That's the amount of energy that was released across this region.

So when you look at the landscape, you look at the terrain and you go in for a closer perspective right into Sichuan Province, this particular region is extremely mountainous. And as a meteorologist, one that follows geography personally just for interest, when you look at a terrain like this, when you get anything more than say 20 to 30 degrees of a slope, first thing you know is that when you have heavy rainfall, the soil here would be firmly saturated and of course, the weight here, the gravity almost always wins the battle.

So you're going to have a lot of built-up terrain, the damage will occur across the higher points here. But of course heavy rains will also tend to come right down toward the lowest point.

But again, the landslide occurrence in the side of these mountains is really what makes this area very, very vulnerable to such events. But heavy rainfall in recent weeks, we know the terrain has been very much jeopardized. You see the before perspective in Xinmo Village. You see the after perspective come in and a lot of that land just to its north here literally covering this community up.

So this is something that officials have been working on very hard. The wet season again, inside the next couple of weeks where we'll see some of the heavier rain move through. Rainfall in recent days, yes, it's been moderate to maybe heavy at times but you notice the area of interest certainly nowhere near where heaviest rainfall is just to the south.

We're talking several hundred millimeters versus maybe 20 to 30 millimeters in the area of interest. And we'll expect this to begin migrating north inside the next 10 days or so and that is precisely what officials are really trying to get as much work done as possible because as you work you way into early July, Natalie -- that's when you see the tremendous rains begin to build in across this region of Sichuan Province.

ALLEN: All right. Something to watch. Pedram -- thank you.

JAVAHERI: Thank you.

ALLEN: Well, since the Grenfell Tower fire in London, authorities have been checking other apartments in the U.K. for fire safety and the results so far are startling.

[00:09:58] Sixty apartment buildings have been tested for potentially dangerous siding -- all 60 have failed. At least 4,000 people have been evacuated now from tower blocks deemed unsafe and those refusing to go are being told they must leave.

On Sunday, London's mayor visited a mosque near where the Grenfell fire killed at least 79 people.


SADIQ KHAN, MAYOR OF LONDON: One of the reasons why I said this fire was preventable is because for two long, corners have been cut for too long in the interest of saving money. I think things that could have been done haven't been. And I think one of the things that we need to make sure, at least learn from the fire but also the public inquiry is when we (inaudible) building are the safest they can be. But clearly they aren't.

We need to make sure rather than talking about health and safety in negative terms, rather than talking about cutting regulation or red tape, we recognize that these regulations are there for a good reason.


ALLEN: in all 600 buildings will be tested across the country.

The auto parts company at the center of a deadly air bag scandal is filing for bankruptcy. Japan-based Takata is seeking protection there and in the U.S. Its faulty airbag inflators could send shrapnel into drivers and passengers and that led to tens of millions of recalls. They were blamed for 11 deaths in the U.S. and several more elsewhere. Takata never recovered financially.

U.S. President Donald Trump is working the phones on health care. Next, why he may find it hard to convince Republican Senators to support a new bill to repeal Obamacare.

Also, President Trump and India's prime minister on opposite sides of some key issues with their first meeting coming up this week at the White House. We'll talk about it.

You're watching CNN NEWSROOM.


[00:11:50] ALLEN: Welcome back.

U.S. President Donald Trump is addressing two major battles he's facing: Russian interference in the election and healthcare in the United States.

On Russia, Mr. Trump is again trying to shift attention to his predecessor, Barack Obama. In a new interview, President Trump says Mr. Obama quote, "Did nothing after learning months before voters hit the polls that the Russian president was trying to influence the election".

The Obama administration actually did take actions against Russia, but a "Washington Post" article says some former senior Obama officials are frustrated more was not done to punish Moscow.

Meantime President Trump is working the phones on healthcare, trying to convince reluctant Republican senators to change their minds and support a new Senate bill to repeal Obamacare.

Here's our Athena Jones from the White House.


ATHENA JONES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hi there. It's shaping up to be another monumental week in the Republican effort to repeal and replace Obamacare with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell determined to hold a vote on the Senate's version of the repeal though this week. The problem is that at least right now there are enough Republican senators who have expressed opposition to this bill to effectively kill it.

Several others have expressed concerns about the bill. Conservatives fear that it does not go far enough to undo Obamacare. Meanwhile, more moderate senators feel that it might leave the needy -- the most needy Americans behind.

Senator Susan Collins, Republican of Maine, is particularly concerned about the cuts to Medicaid proposed in this bill. But the White House is arguing that the changes to that program should not be viewed as cuts.

Watch what Senator Collins and White House counselor Kellyanne Conway had to say about this on ABC's "This Week".


SEN. SUSAN COLLINS (R), MAINE: It's certainly going to be very difficult. For my part I'm very concerned about the cuts in the insurance for older people with serious chronic illnesses, and the impact of the Medicaid cuts on our state governments, the most vulnerable people in our society, and health care providers such as our rural hospitals and nursing homes most of whom are very dependent on the Medicaid program.

KELLYANNE CONWAY, WHITE HOUSE CONSELOR: These are not cuts to Medicaid, George. This slows the rate for the future and it allows governors more flexibility with Medicaid dollars because they're closest to the people in need.

Medicaid is imperative. Its founding was meant to help the poor, the sick, the needy, the disabled, children, some elderly women particularly pregnant women. We are trying to get Medicaid back to its original --

JONES: So there you heard Conway arguing that stopping the expansion of Medicaid which was allowed under Obamacare and then putting a cap on the amount of money states will get for the program in the future is not the same thing as cutting it. Of course Senator Collins and several other moderate GOP senators and governors disagree.

I shall also mention that the Congressional Budget Office which scored an earlier version of the bill -- the House version -- which had similar changes to Medicaid found what it would amount to more than $800 billion in cuts.

Now, we do expect we could get the CBO's score of this latest version of the bill as soon as tomorrow -- as soon as Monday, and that will go a long way to letting senators know what the cost of the bill will be, what its impact will be on deficit and of course how it will affect the American public. How many people stand to potentially lose insurance coverage.

President Trump himself has been hitting the phones. He's spoken with Senators Ted Cruz and Rand Paul to try to win them, to get this bill across the finish line. But Senate Whip John Cornyn has acknowledged that it's going to be close. So there's a lot to watch out for this week.

Back to you.


ALLEN: Joining me now is CNN political analyst and "Washington Post" columnist Josh Rogin. Josh -- thanks for being with us.


ALLEN: Big week ahead. Let's talk health care.

[00:19:58] You've got to feel for the American citizen. This is such a partisan issue when they're not getting exactly the nitty-gritty details from this president. He just says Obamacare is tanking. We've got the solution. But there are Republican senators that don't disagree on that. So where are we?

ROGIN: President Trump seems not to be wedded to any particular version of this health care bill. He doesn't really seem to care about the details. He doesn't seem particularly familiar with the details, to be honest.

But what he knows is he wants a deal. So he's left it up to the Republican leadership in the Senate to come up with a bill by the end of the week that can get 50 votes. And what that means is that Mitch McConnell will spend the next few days wheeling and dealing to get those five Republican Senators who are on the fence, or objecting to the bill, onboard.

And if he can do that before the July 4th recess, rest assured the bill will pass and then Senators going home for the July 4th break will be able to tell their constituents that they got something done. Unfortunately those constituents are liable to be confused by what exactly it is that they did.

ALLEN: Right. And President Trump is not a guy who seems to believe the devil is in the details about leaving it up to others.

ROGIN: That's right.

ALLEN: But is a win on rolling back Obamacare necessarily a true win? If as Bernie Sanders says this new plan favors the young and the wealthy and not the elderly and the poor?

ROGIN: Yes, that's definitely the drive of it. And you know, the bottom line is that this will be sort of one stop in but many stops in the path that this bill will take. It's only going to go back to the House. There's going to be a conference. There's going to be more negotiations.

But the overall gist of it is that those people who are young and healthy and not -- and will have the opportunity to pay less and those people who are old and sick will probably have to pay more. That's what the President was talking about when he told Senate leaders that the House bill was too, quote-unquote, "mean". You know, there will be efforts to make it less quote-unquote, "mean" over the next four days. But that is essentially what they're going to do.

Now, that could be a political benefit for Democrats in 2018. But what the Republicans are betting is that they ran on a promise to repeal Obamacare. They've got to get it done one way or the other and this is the path that they've chosen to take.

ALLEN: Let's talk about another topic that President Trump has been consumed with for good reason. That's the Russian meddling in the election. This continues to be a cloud over this White House. Now he's blaming the Obama administration who did find out that Putin was directly responsible for the meddling months before Americans went to the polls but didn't take strong actions.

Does President Trump have a point saying the Obama team dropped the ball?

ROGIN: Well, yes and no. I mean President Trump and his White House can't have it both ways. On the one hand they claim that the entire Russia story is a hoax and that we can never be sure whether or not the Russians were behind it.

On the other hand he's now criticizing President Obama for not doing more to push back against Russian interference. You know, which is it? If he's now saying that the Obama administration is responsible, was it robust and often? There's an argument for that to be sure. Then it begs the question of what's he going to do to fix that. And he hasn't said or done anything to indicate that he has a plan to prevent Russia from doing this again and to deter other actors from interfering in our next election and the election after that.

So, you know, it's easy to criticize the Obama administration in hindsight -- hindsight's 20/20. Sure, they deserve some criticism. But the Trump administration's sort of schizophrenic approach to this has everybody confused. Either they believe it or they don't. Either they think we need to do something or they don't. And the White House, so far, refuses to clarify. ALLEN: Doing that, why wouldn't he, you know, appoint a czar to look

into this and make a big deal over that? Wouldn't that have some weight with Americans to question what this White House is concerned with but it's not?

ROGIN: You know, there's a range of things that the President and the White House should be doing, if they were serious about, first of all punishing Russia for its interference, and second of all deterring them from doing it again. We're talking about fixing all of the election systems; make them less vulnerable to cyber intrusions. We're talking about, you know, using all the sorts of tools of government to show the world that if this happens, that there will be a response and that the price would be too high.

And none of that is really going on. You know, on the one hand we have to sort of separate this -- the idea that, you know, the White House is under investigation for collusion with the Russians during the interference and the fact that we have to do something to make sure this interference doesn't happen again.

That's where the White House is stuck. They can't wrap their minds around the fact that they could be innocent of collusion potentially but also be responsible for pushing back against the Russians. And until they sort of, you know, get past that mental block, you know, we're not going to see any real action.

ALLEN: Right, you know, because you would think that the White House would have the intellectual bandwidth to get past that and figure this out. We hope so.

[00:25:001] Josh Rogin -- read his columns in the "Washington Post" -- CNN political analyst, thank you so much.

ROGIN: Thank you.

ALLEN: Well, President Trump will meet with India's prime minister at the White House Monday. Several issues could make their first meeting tense among them Mr. Trump's opposition to a popular work visa that mostly goes to Indian tech workers and the U.S. withdrawal from the Paris Climate Agreement.

"Time Magazine's" Nikhil Kumar joins us now from Delhi. Nikhil -- thank you for being with us.

And let's break down those two issues first.

First of all, the issue of the work visas -- how important is that to the Prime Minister.

NIKHIL KUMAR, TIME MAGAZINE: It's a potentially thorny issue, you know. You've got President Trump who wants to cut the flow of foreign workers to the U.S. And he is as you say, reviewing these visas that go mostly to Indian tech workers and that makes Indian tech companies very nervous, the U.S. is a critical market for them.

And this is really part of a larger issue between the two countries. How do you reconcile Mr. Trump's America first mantra with Pre Minister Modi' stated goal of trying to grown India's economy.

So whether the specifics of the visa program come up or not, India's going to try and avoid anything controversial. And the larger issue most certainly will as Mr. Modi tries and convince -- has to convince Mr. Trump, that look, India's rise is in America's interest. That investments by American companies in India strengthens them and that Indian tech workers and Indian tech companies contribute to the U.S. economy; that it's a cooperative relationship not a confrontational one.

ALLEN: It will be interesting to see how Donald Trump responds to that.

And the other issue: the climate accord -- India, as you say, a growing economy and was one of the countries that it was critical they come on board and they did. And then the U.S. President backs out. How did that play in the news in India?

KUMAR: It was very interesting. So just as you heard President Trump in the U.S. announcing his decision to withdraw the U.S. from the climate accord, you had the Indian prime minister, he just happens to be at that time in Europe. And so as Mr. Trump was announcing his decision, Mr. Modi was reaffirming in his commitment to the accord as he was standing next to Chancellor Merkel and President Macron -- champions of the agreement.

The claim by President Trump in his speech in the White House -- from the White House where he said that India has made its participation contingent on receiving billions and billions of (inaudible) -- that didn't go down well at all. You know, India responded publicly saying that's just not true. So there's not going to be any meeting of minds on that issue.

ALLEN: All right. We thank you. We'll wait and see tomorrow about their meeting. Nikhil Kumar of the "Time Magazine" -- thanks so much.

KUMAR: Thank you.

ALLEN: Still to come here on CNN NEWSROOM, as ISIS' grip loosens in parts of the Middle East, the militants may have gained a foothold in Southeast Asia.

Also -- that's the sound of a plane shaking, and it shook for almost two hours over the Indian. Passengers tell us about the scary flight that rattled more than just their nerves. That's ahead here.


[00:31:37] NATALIE ALLEN, CNN ANCHOR: And welcome back to CNN NEWSROOM, I'm Natalie Allen.

Here are our headlines this hour.

At least six people have died after a tourist boat sank in a reservoir in Colombia. More than 30 people are said to be missing. One survivor said there weren't many life vests onboard. The boat was carrying 150 people near the popular tourist of Guatape.

Police are investigating what caused the deadly oil tanker explosion in Eastern Pakistan, Sunday. At least 140 people were killed, and dozens more injured after the tanker truck veered off the road and then exploded. Surrounded by villagers who had rushed in to collect spilled fuel. Officials say cell phones or cigarettes could have started the explosion. They just don't know right now what gas.

It's been more than two days since the deadly landslide in China, Sichuan Province, and the odds of finding more survivors are grim. Rescuers have scoured the site of a buried village, but officials say 93 people are still missing. Ten have been confirmed dead.

All 60 apartment buildings tested in the UK since the Grenfell Tower fire have failed fire safety checks. At least 4,000 people have been evacuated from tower blocks deemed unsafe. Authorities say those refusing to go must leave. 600 buildings are being tested across the country for potentially dangerous siding.

Fighting has resumed in the Southern Philippines after a ceasefire for celebrations marking the end of Ramadan. Friday marked one month since deadly clashes broke out between the Philippine Army and ISIS- linked militants. But during Sunday's eight-hour pause, people woke up to the calls for prayer instead of gunfire. The government says the fighting has killed dozens of troops and civilians. Thousands more have been displaced.

For more on this story, CNN's Ivan Watson now joins us from Hong Kong.

Ivan, hello.

IVAN WATSON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Hi, there. That's right. For about eight hours, you had peace in what has been more than a month of fighting around the City of Marawi since ISIS- linked militants captured it in an audacious and lightning operation that took place on May 23rd.

This is a battle that has cost hundreds of lives. It has uprooted more than 300,000 people who have been forced to flee their homes. And it has killed at least 69 government soldiers who have still been unable to dislodge the ISIS militants from several neighborhoods in the center of this city.

It has been a deadly coming-out party for ISIS, which has shown that it is determined to establish a foothold in Southeast Asia.


WATSON (voice-over): ISIS fighters battling street to street. Not in the Middle East, but for the very first time in Southeast Asia. On May 23rd, these extremists launched a sudden lightning assault on the City of Marawi in the Philippines. They captured the city and government weapons. Burned a church and murdered prisoners.

For a month, the Philippine military has struggled and failed to recapture Marawi, even though they bomb it daily from the sky. The government has also declared martial law here. Setting up checkpoints across the island of Mindanao.

(on-camera): The security forces are on the hunt. They're looking for dozens of suspected ISIS militants. And they're also searching for prisoners who escaped from a jail that ISIS broke open during the first days of their attack.

The capture of Marawi, a deadly coming-out party for ISIS in this part of the world.

SIDNEY JONES, TERRORISM ANALYST, INSTITUTE FOR POLICY ANALYSIS OF CONFLICT: Marawi has changed the picture of extremism in Southeast Asia. We need to be more worried that people with combat experience and leadership skills will be developing close to home. Not in Syria and Iraq.

WATSON (voice-over): ISIS in the Philippines is a coalition of many Islamist insurgent groups that have long played this country. But they've united for the very first time under the leadership of this man Isnilon Hapilon.

(on-camera): Tell me about him. What kind of a man is Hapilon?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hapilon is a very bold fighter.

WATSON (voice-over): This man, we'll call him Abu Jihad, is a former Islamist militant. Before renouncing violence and joining witness protection, he spent years in the jungle fighting alongside the man who now leads ISIS in the Philippines.

(on-camera): Do you think he enjoys killing people?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes. When I spoke to him many years ago, he only thinks that killing non-Muslims satisfies Allah, makes Allah happy, and I was shocked.

WATSON (voice-over): In the month-long battle in Marawi, ISIS have killed scores of Philippine soldiers and wounded hundreds more. The fighting has also triggered a humanitarian crisis. More than 330,000 people have fled their homes, and hundreds of civilians are still believed to be trapped in the conflict zone.

Amid this suffering and destruction, ISIS has accomplished one clear goal -- announcing their deadly presence in this part of the world.


WATSON: Though, Natalie, the Philippines military just gave a press briefing and they said that most likely Isnilon Hapilon, the leader of ISIS in the Philippines and several other top lieutenants may have actually slipped away from the siege of the militant controlled part of that city.

Of course, the military's advances have been complicated by the fact that ISIS are believed to have taken hostages from the very first day of their assault into Marawi. And this is just -- many experts say that this has been a tremendous military accomplishment for the militants, because the island of Mindanao in the Philippines arguably will now become a magnet for other Jihadist across the region.

All of the experts I spoke with say that this type of violent militant jihad is going to be a big problem that the Philippines and other countries in the region will face for some time to come.

ALLEN: I wanted to ask you, is there any other country offering any kind of assistance or aid to the Philippines, to try to do something about this?

WATSON: I think this has served as a wakeup call to the region. In the last couple of weeks, the governments of Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines have all announced a trilateral Navy patrols in an effort to combat terrorism.

There's an awful lot of smuggling that goes on between these countries, island hopping, that militants take advantage of to move weapons, fighters and money.

In addition to that, the U.S. military, a long-time ally of the Philippines, has rushed weapons and ammunition to the Philippines Armed Forces, and there are Special Forces somewhere in the background from the U.S. providing logistical support.

And also Australia has announced plans to send two reconnaissance planes to help the Philippines Armed Forces, which I think we're quite surprised at the tenacity and the armament of this unprecedented coalition of ISIS aligned militants that really mounted this audacious attack and succeeded in capturing an entire city for weeks.


ALLEN: My goodness. All right, Ivan Watson for us.

Thanks so much, Ivan.

Next here, passengers were told to say a prayer when their plane wouldn't stop shaking over the Indian Ocean.


ALLEN: Passengers on an Air Asia flight survived a very bumpy ride. The pilot told everyone to pray. An apparent engine issue forced the plane to return to Perth, Australia just over an hour into its flight to Malaysia. And it shook the whole time.

One passenger told CNN he heard a loud bang and the plane began to rattle violently. But it landed safely back in Perth about two hours later and the passengers broke into applause. One would hope so. This appears to be the third incident since May with the Rolls Royce Trent 700 engine in an aircraft.

A girl in New York has scary ride of her own. This one, though, at an amusement park. She was somehow dangling from a gondola ride almost 8 meters off the ground when the crowd below jumped in to help.

The teenager hit a tree limb on the way down but the crowd caught her. And she was not seriously injured. The ride was later inspected and everything was found to be in proper working order. Go figure how she ended up like that.

Well, that's CNN NEWSROOM, I'm Natalie Allen. "World Sport" is next. And I'll be back in about 15 minutes for another hour of news. Thanks for watching CNN.